Thanksgiving is a time to gather together with family and friends. The occasion is usually centered around a big meal followed by pumpkin pie, and hopefully some time to let each person share a list of what they are most grateful for that year.
Here at UC IPM, we are adding beneficial insects to our “thankful” list! These helpful invertebrates (also called natural enemies) are often overlooked for the contribution they make to gardens and landscapes.
Natural enemies, such as spiders and certain mites and insects, can help reduce the number of pests in your garden. It's possible that part of the reason they are overlooked is because...
- Author: Mary Louise Flint
Many retail nurseries and garden centers sell lady beetles for controlling aphids in gardens and landscapes. Gardeners often ask, “Does releasing lady beetles really work?”
University of California research has demonstrated that lady beetle releases can effectively control aphids in a limited landscape or garden area if properly handled and applied in sufficient numbers. However, because of inadequate release rates or poor quality, lady beetles often fail to provide satisfactory control; other low toxicity aphid management practices such as hosing off or insecticidal soap or oil sprays may be more effective. Here are some things to consider if you decide to try lady beetle releases: