You can lead a ladybug to an aphid-covered Rose of Sharon bush but you can’t make her eat.
Well, I guess I can’t complain.* Truth is, we host lots of ladybugs in our no-spray, critter-friendly, all-a-bug-can-eat-smorgasbord-style backyard. But they’re not in the right places! Okay, not the places I want them to be.
For example, the “girls” are all over this one peach tree which, amazingly enough, still has peaches.** Last week as we spent hours draping the fledgling fruit with poultry fencing, deer fencing and any other kind of varmint fencing we had handy, I noticed a ton of bugs along the branches. The good bugs: Coccinelladae of the order coleoptera, commonly called “lady bugs”. Not only that, these ladies were–how shall I put it?– having a good time. Yup, there were dozens and dozens of lady bugs and gentleman bugs and maybe even baby bugs but NOT ONE APHID.
What the bugs!
Had they eaten them all? Were they even there to begin with? Do the ladybird/beetles/bugs realize that a bitty bit away on our sad Honeycrisp treelet, the aphids had established a beachhead? (All too close to the finally-flowering peas, I might add!) Then there’s the aforementioned Rose of Sharon, which boasted (if that’s the right word) a BAZILLION aphids.
Give or take a zillion.
While it’s true I’ve seen one or two of the ladies on that besieged bush, it’s clear they were outmatched. Or stuffed. Or just resting between courses. I read somewhere that one beneficial insect can eat scores of less beneficial insects in short order but even at that rate, I would still need an army of lady bugs to merely handle this one wretched ornamental. Guess there’s only one thing to do.
Call in the cavalry! And make it snappy!!!
*That won’t stop me, of course.
**Last year we started with a jillion, ended with none.
Copyright 2014, Lori Fontanes
Wonderful post! I hope your army dines on your Rose of Sharon bush soon, and that you have a better peach harvest this year.
Thanks so much!!! Interestingly, since I started writing this last week, a bunch of other bugs took on the aphids and the bush looks pretty healthy, all things considered. Mother Nature has her ways (even some that aren’t as “cute” as ladybugs!)
You’re welcome. I’m glad to hear that some other bugs have arrived on the scene to tackle the aphids. Go Mother Nature!
Let’s hope that the cavalry arrives in time, just like in the movies.
I think I hear a bugle now! (It is a bugle, right?)
I’m feeling this way about the bats that sometimes visited during the warm months. I haven’t seen them at all this year, meanwhile the mosquitoes are getting bigger and bigger! That first photos is cute though, Lori.
We haven’t seen any bats yet either! But come to think of it, I don’t generally see them until it’s really summer and not this weird, faux spring/summer mix. Fingers crossed for some consistent temps and moderate rainfall!!!
Ah, maybe that’s why we haven’t seen them. The weather has been cool.
Could be–we haven’t seen our lightning bugs (AKA fireflies) yet either, come to think of it.
so much violence
It’s a bug eat bug world out there, apparently.
aaww – how beautiful. And Ladybugs – snorts. My mom’s nickname is Junebug 🙂 XOXO – Bacon
Maybe Lady Junebug is in order? 🙂
Snorts. Mom might like that! XOXO – Bacon
beautiful:-) I found one in my house this winter, but have not seen any outside yet, but I have two neighbors talking over the fence while they sprayed their lawns ( long sigh) …oh well, sure hope to see one soon:-)
Ah, yes, it takes a community, doesn’t it?! Good luck on finding more good bugs & bees!!! 🙂