Friday, February 24, 2012

Wonderful Lady beetles

Lady beetles are invaluable in your garden, especially if your are an organic gardener. And on that note if you don't use chemicals and insecticides in your garden you won't kill the Lady Beetles and the Spiders and you'll have less pests naturally.

Lady beetles as well as being beautiful little creatures are natural enemies of many insect pests, a single lady beetle may consume as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.

Lady beetle's have a hemispherical to oval body shape. The head is covered by a hood called the pronotum. They may be white, yellow, pink, orange, red or black, and usually have spots. These spots are a warning to other animals. like many of other brightly-colored insects, ladybugs are distasteful to predators. When disturbed, they may secrete an odorous, distasteful fluid out of their joints to discourage enemies.

Adult females usually lay their clusters of eggs in the vicinity of aphid, scale, or mealybug colonies. The alligator-like larvae are also predators. They are spiny and black with bright spots. Although they look dangerous, lady beetle larvae are quite harmless to humans. After feeding on insect prey for several weeks, the larva pupates on leaves. Adults tend to move on once pests get scarce, while the larvae remain and search for more prey.

Bad Lady beetles... these are the yellow ones with black spots. Often called Mexican bean beetle and the squash beetle, you'll find them on your beans, peas and squash. They eat plants and not insects... but hey, don't kill them, I just pick them off and take them off to the bush (forest) or park, after all they have a right to exist like all life.

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