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?