Hope she's hungry

Just doing a scan of my orchard this morning. For some reason the Apple trees and to a lesser extent the Pear trees are the only ones I get Aphids on. Luckily I have tons of Lady Bugs on my Apple trees (the Lady Bugs also seem to be fond of my Cherry trees, but I do not see any Aphids on the Cherries). Wasps LOVE the Cherry Trees…always loaded with them. Here are some pics from my Apple trees this morning.

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I bought a box of ladybugs at my local nursery and set them loose on my trees and they completely cleaned up all my trees, especially my citrus. It was awesome!

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Some years ago I also bought a box of ladybugs and tried to set them loose on a bunch of bearded iris that were just crawling with aphids.

The ladybugs did not seem at all interested in the aphids, only in flying off and departing my yard.

I don’t know why they weren’t interested in the big meal that was literally staring them in the eyes.

Any ideas as to what might have gone wrong? Do ladybugs have an aversion to bearded iris or something?

I tried to release lady bugs as well, they stayed for a day (mainly engaging in activity with each other), ate very few aphids and then flew away. I’ve read about releasing praying mantis, supposedly they will stick around, but worry a little bit about them eating other beneficials; ladybugs, bees, butterflies, etc. Any one have any experience with praying mantis?

I have never released any Lady bugs…they just show up. There seem to be more this year than in years past. We had a very mild winter and are already hot (over 90 yesterday). I wonder if the mild winter helped them out, and in turn helped out the pests as well ;(

Did you release at night? They do not fly at night so they get some time to get comfy in your trees or plants. Hopefully the stay around long enough to mate and lay eggs.

The yellow looking ladybug is a cucumber beetle and is not a beneficial. They eat my plum and apple flowers.

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Good to know…will flick now when seeing them.

and spread an awful bacterial wilt throughout my melons…

Maybe when the praying mantises are very little they’ll stay close to where they began, but they cover a lot of terrain as they devour insects. Then when bigger and can fly, they really can go a long ways away.

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Do Praying Mantis’ even bother with the tiny Aphids?

Charlie, ants farm aphids so getting ride of the ants will help.

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/insects/controlling-aphids-and-ants.htm

Those things destroy my cucumber and melon harvest every year, I was thinking of luring them using summer squash and kill them by applying Sevin asI won’t care about squash at all.

I wish they’d eat brown marmorated stink bugs. I saw several clusters of them in my mature plum tree on Sunday. It was very unnerving.

Cool! How many in a box and how much$ ?

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I would estimate 200 hundred, maybe 250? $6-$7. I bought from a local nursery but I know friends who have purchased online. I released at dusk and they stayed on the trees for a good 3 or 4 days.

Last year I had a few aphids on my plums and apples. The ladybugs showed up, but it seemed to me that the larvae were the ones doing most of the damage to the aphid population. The larva are like something out of an alien movie. Here is one instar that is molting.

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I noticed last year the ladies really liked my Mt Royal plum, much more so than any other tree. (obviously more food there). Anyone else notice them drawn more to a certain tree/plant?

You are correct - the larvae of the ladybugs do most of the aphid control. And they can’t fly away like the adults!

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You can also get ladybug pheromones

That way, when your organically-minded neighbors buy some at the nursery, you are all set.

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