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Location: Chino (Inland Empire), California

Lady bugs

I started getting into gardening last year. I am pretty sure I have aphids in my garden judging by comparison of photos online and what certain bugs in my garden look like, and that I have lots of ants in the garden (Ive heard that aphids attract ants). So I was thinking about purchasing some ladybugs on line, but I am not too sure if they would actually stay in my garden. If the conditions are not right, will the lady bugs leave? Is buying lady bugs even work in getting rid of these aphids?

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Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 5:04 am
Location: Oregon

The ladybugs will stay in your garden as long as there is food for them. in the form of aphids and other critters. When they run out of food, they'll move away, probably to your neighbors' yards, but if you get aphids again, they'll come back.

You can keep them in the neighborhood by putting up places for them to winter over, such as unused bat or butterfly houses, or even a vacant birdhouse. I never released any in my yard, but I had a lot of aphids, so the ladybugs came. They would winter over in a hollow branch in my big tulip tree. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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Location: drifting, unmoored

I have noticed a great way to keep aphids around is lambs quarters. If I spray soap, it's only the food crops. The weeds host everything.

But - you gotta balance out the ants, or they may defend the aphids like herding dogs. Maybe use sticky stuff. Or boric acid if necessary.

Start with a jet of plain water and escalate from there.
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