Yesterday my order of ladybugs arrived on the doorstep! My husband called to ask what to do with the bag of bugs, at which point I panicked. I hadn’t really given it any more thought than any other online one-click impulse purchase.
As it turns out they’re supposed to be released at dusk, and gradually over a few days. The garden should be watered first so they can drink… I suppose being shipped in a cardboard box could make anyone thirsty? And you can keep them in the fridge for one to two weeks, because insect hibernation is basically magic.
I ended up asking my husband to just release all of them. Mondays I have my regular 9-5 office job followed by a 6pm to 10pm summer job, and I was pretty sure that if I asked him to leave any ladybugs in the fridge “until I get home”, I would forget about them until October.
When I did get home I bolted for the backyard, and managed to spot a few even in the dark. This morning I went out and they were everywhere! I felt like a little kid that just woke up to a bunch of new toys. The dogs, on the other hand, couldn’t understand what was so exciting about the plants if they STILL weren’t allowed to eat them.
I misted everything with the hose, including my phone for the second time this spring. I really can’t function before my first cup of coffee… you’d think setting the phone down next to the potted plants then pointing a hose at them two minutes later is something an adult should manage to avoid, but somehow it’s still beyond my pre-caffeine cognitive capacity. Luckily my phone is waterproof, in that way of saying “luckily” when what you actually mean is “thanks to forethought and deliberate planning because I totally knew this would happen”.
After a token effort at drying off the phone, I decided to try moving some of the ladybugs from the backyard to the front steps, where my two money-trees are sitting covered in aphids. It actually went pretty well, as the ladybugs didn’t seem to mind hanging out on a paper towel while I ferried them to the front of the house. And they did not disappoint!
Putting a bunch of those little guys on the greener shoots and watching them snatch up the aphids made my morning. They just walked right up to the aphids and latched onto them to munch! I had to run into the house to get ready for work, but on my way out I stopped to snap a photo. By that time I guess they’d all had their breakfast since I couldn’t find any still eating, but I did get a pretty clear shot of a ladybug ignoring a snack right behind him… Hopefully it’ll be lunch, and I’ll never go back to using pesticide sprays again.
All in all, my phone still works (Galaxy S6 Active with a case… mostly waterproof AND takes great pics!), the ladybugs are happily doing their job by eating my garden pests for breakfast, and my day is off to a good start. I hope everyone else likes the photo and has a wonderful Tuesday!