Honeysuckle Wars: Part Deux

I said I’d report back, and here I am, back from the vanguard.  The troops arrived in a tiny mesh bag.  The clerk at the store gave it a shake.  Only a few were actually crawling around, the rest look dead.  “They just got out of the fridge,” she said.  “Give them a bit to warm up.”  Uh-huh.  So I took them home, and Maxwell made it his duty to watch over them while they ‘warmed up’.

Four hours later about a third had warmed up.  I believe about half were dead.  Sigh…  But worry not!  The package said ladybugs are very territorial.  Can you imagine?  Two ladybugs meet on a leaf.  “Dude, get off my leaf or I will cut you!”  So the directions said to put them out sparingly, which was their sneaky way of saying ‘we know half will be dead; you didn’t need that half anyway’.
So we sparingly sprinkled out the troops.  Which was easier said than done.  They didn’t want to leave their mesh bag, and same had to be pried out.   Here are the troops, er, troop.
We watched this guy crawl right over an aphid.  Go, troops!  But if you’d spent all your time in a fridge, how would you know what was good to eat, eh?  I had The Boy dump all the dead ones on top of the vine in the hopes that a few live ones would latch on and start gobbling up the enemy.  Alas…the fallen…
Not alive, totally dead.  If you had spent a week in a fridge you probably wouldn’t be much more active either.  
So inspection the following morning determined not a single live ladybug stuck around for the party.  And is that a new patch of aphids?
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7 Responses to Honeysuckle Wars: Part Deux

  1. Rula Sinara says:

    Oh Michele, I'm sorry about the ladybugs. Maxwell is looking very eager in that pic, LOL.I don't know if it'll help, or if you plan on trying again, but I read that ladybugs use the sun to navigate. If they're released after sundown, they'll stay put, especially if you mist the plant first.There are also plants/flowers they're attracted to that you could plant at the base of the vine, like coreopsis. Check out http://www.oldfashionedliving.com/ladybugs.html. Maybe they'll start coming back for the goodies.Hope this helps!

  2. krisgils33 says:

    sorry about your problems in the gardens. too bad the bag o' bugs didn't work….but the cat seemed to enjoy checking it out!

  3. Michele Hauf says:

    Thanks, Rula! I did mist the plant first and put them out around 7 in the evening. Ah well. Maybe the 'dead' ones are just in hibernation, and if the sun comes out today they'll pop into action!Yes, I believe Maxwell was a little upset we didn't let him sample the goodies. I told him they'd be too crunchy for him, but the cat does like to eat bugs, so go figure.

  4. Deb says:

    Hi, Michele. My sister did the same thing for her garden a few years ago. The ladybugs, true ladybugs, were mailed to her by express and when she placed them in the garden, they went to work on those pesky aphids. But, she noticed, too, that almost all of them (200) were not around any longer after 2 days. Maybe they all flew away home? LOLDo you have a problem with Turkish beetles? They look like ladybugs, but are orange and/or yellow. They are a problem and it seems like one could vacuum every day to try and eliminate them.

  5. Helen Brenna says:

    Well, interesting experiment, if nothing else! Bummer it didn't work.

  6. Michele Hauf says:

    Deb, haven't seen any Turkish beetles around here. But probably wouldn't mind if they ate aphids! 😉

  7. Betina Krahn says:

    Sorry, Michele! I had such hopes for the ladybug solution. (Doesn't that sound a little like a book title?) But I confess, we don't usually used the for aphids, we release them to play with. sigh.Maybe if you try again. . .

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