Monday, May 21, 2012

Ladybug Fun -- posted by George

Mom and Sarah go out to check the garden every morning, and they always look closely to see if everything is all right.  A few days ago, they found what they thought were clusters of what looked like ant hills on the peas and beans, but it wasn't. Ants were herding bugs called aphids, because the aphids eat the plants and produce nectar that the ants eat! So the ants collect the aphids into one place, and they pile on top of them to protect them and to milk the nectar from the aphids.

We have two organic methods of getting rid of the aphids and the ants. One is neem oil, which makes the aphids act drunk so they forget to eat and mate. The second method is to order a bag of 1,500 ladybugs!

Yesterday the whole family went out and released the ladybugs in both gardens.  Normally when you order ladybugs, some of them die during the trip.  But amazingly, all of ours LIVED!  And even though they didn't immediately start eating the aphids (they were waking up from being in the refrigerator after their trip), it sure didn't take long. I was holding the bag of ladybugs, and lots of them started crawling up my arms!

A couple of the ladybugs started to mate... so they must not ALL be ladies.

Here's the ladybug that crawled up onto my neck... even I'm getting some ladybug love!

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