lessons learned on the journey toward independence

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Lady Bug Warfare In The Orchard

Lady bugs in the orchard

Craig was keeping an eye on our fruit trees this spring, and noticed quite a few ants crawling around on two of the cherry trees!  They seemed to be interested in what looked like some type of tiny bug on these two trees.  He was afraid that the tiny bugs might be aphids, which can be very destructive to fruit trees.  He did a little research and found out that ants have quite an interesting relationship with aphids--they actually maintain “herds” of aphids and “milk” the aphids to get a sweet type of syrup from them.

But Craig also found out that lady bugs eat aphids--and you can purchase packages of live lady bugs from garden centers!  We bought a package of about 1500 lady bugs for $7.50.  The package is kept in a refrigerator (to keep the lady bugs in a type of dormant state) until you are ready to release them.  It’s best to release them at nighttime.


We’re still not sure that we had aphids--not sure what the little red bumps were--but at least we don’t seem to have many ants on the trees now and we found out a good alternative to poisonous pesticides and chemicals!


  • Guest
    Krista Thursday, 12 July 2012

    Hummingbirds love to eat Aphids. So I place their feeders in the area. ALso found for some areas of aphids that a mixture of garlic, hot peppers, water blended and strained with a little oil mixed in used in a sprayer works great. I found though that my sprayer would be messed up each season from using it. So I just recycle a bottle that had something else in before. of course this is only practical in small cases of aphids. Thought I would pass along this little helpful info.

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