Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ladybug, my ladybug

Having been my oldest enemy, I can almost say that the aphid's consistency and persistence throughout the years has gained a certain level of well, almost respect. There you are again, you squishy green colonizer. Haven't I told you to get lost? Have you no self-esteem?

Okay, no apparently they don't. In finer moods, I give them a little shake and a spray of water. In darker moods they get the wipe and the pinch. Total aphid obliteration. It seems to do the trick while I'm waiting for the ladybugs to hatch on the south side of my building. Yes, they've been wintering over in our building for the last three years at least and while I'm not sure what kind of damage they're actually dolling out inside the walls, I do know that when they hatch (or mature, rather) they devour all the aphids on my balcony and on my plantings in the courtyard below. I couldn't have planned it better myself.

Pictured above is a ladybug in its mid-larval stage so if you see one of these strange little alligator bugs don't kill it! It's about to become one of your best assets in the garden. If you don't have any unsolicited tenants go to the nursery and buy a bag. (Keep them cold when you release them if you want them to stay put and eat in a certain area or on a certain plant. They'll be sluggish and chilled for awhile and hang out in your yard until they've had their fill).

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