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Lady Bugs

Lady Bugs

Q. Another problem is lady bugs. Not the dark red ones you see in the garden but these are orange in color and some bite. They also show up in the late fall. Any ideas?

Size: Lady Bugs are usually about 1/4-inch in length and are round in shape.
Color: They come in many sizes and colors but their wings are usually red or orange in color. The number of spots present will vary or the wings may have no spots at all.

A number of insects have discovered that heated buildings are ideal in which to survive the cold of winter. Such pests include box elder bugs cluster flies and lady bugs. As the weather cools in late summer and early fall the late summer sun warms the southern and western walls of buildings. The warmth attracts these insects to buildings where they crawl inside cracks and stay there for the winter. This would be fine but during warm winter days some insects "wake up" and end up on the inside of the building.

Lady bugs are predators of aphids and other plant pests so they may be found on a wide variety of pests outside.

Tips for Control
The best way to control such pests is by prevention as described below. If it's too late and they are already inside it takes a professional to find and treat the right areas to minimize the numbers of pests seen inside. If your home has experienced a problem with overwintering pests take the following steps next summer to prevent a recurrence. Seal up as many cracks and holes on the outside of the home as possible especially on the south and west walls where the sun heats the home during the late summer and fall. Be sure that all foundation and attic vents have tight-fitting screens. Check both the soffit vents and any gable vents or turbine vents on the roof. Have your Terminix Professional treat the outside west and south walls of the home near the eaves. This treatment should be completed in mid to late August.

"Terminex"...just make sure you do not kill the beneficial ones!

Q. Where can I purchase boxes of ladybugs? I want them to help with the aphids and they are nice to have around.

A. There is no reference to where you live so I suggest:

Terra Viva experts in organic growing:

Ladybugs (Hippodamia convergens)

These hardy young ladybugs have recently hatched and are eager to prey on aphids. The young larvae are known to eat 30 aphids per day and will help control these pests in your greenhouse as well as in your garden. Terra Viva Organics only collects native ladybugs that are less prone to swarming. Since they are collected in the wild there can be temporary shortages between late April to mid-June depending on the weather.

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