With gardening you see lots of insects, LOTS! I’m sure anyone who’s been out and looked at plants closely will have seen aphids, ants etc, but sometimes you come across insects that you don’t know and it’s all too easy to get cross assume they are pests and pick em off. Stop and think, is that a natural predator you are picking off? I say this because I was out in the garden last week (before the rains) and I noticed a couple of these little things, wriggling along the beds and in my Mesclun patch.
I stopped and thought pest or predator? Took a pic, came in and researched. Thankful that I did cos they are ladybug larvae! And any gardener knows these are your best friend for fighting aphids and other nasties that suck the life out of plants.
Now you can see mine is a little different from the one above, definitely the same species though. So I did further research and found these: 7 Spotted ladybeetles
This one is definitely mine! Though there photo is better admittedly, lol! At least I know to leave these alone and let them do their thing, then grow into beautiful ladybeetles to eat all my aphids.
So stop and think: pest or predator! The same rule applies to eggs! Afterall the larvae has to come from somewhere right? Anyone who’s grown anything green will be all too familiar with eggs. From the hard round bright green pellet of a tomato horn worm to the ladybug eggs above that I saw on my lettuce last week. I wish I’d applied the rule then but I was so intent on stopping the pests I ripped the leaf off and threw it in a yard bucket. And now it’s rained. I hope the little guys are ok! The good news is according to the site:
In a one to three month period the female can lay from 200 to over 1,000 small (about 0.04 inch or 1 mm) eggs.
So hopefully the females in my garden and busy laying more eggs! Next time I see some I promise I’d leave them alone!
At least now I know one predator in the garden! Off to research some more!