If you have ever had plants at home you probably have suffered the attack of these small suckers, capable of destroying a healthy plant in a matter of weeks if the necessary measures are not taken.

  And although there are many measures to alleviate their effect or eliminate these hemiptera, which I will also mention sideways, today we will focus on one of our protagonists.

  Because we have a close and voracious ally that will help us fight these small and annoying bugs in a natural way.

  But first we’ll start talking a little about the aphids:

  -. Approximately 3 millimeters long, they usually attack our plants between Spring and Summer.

  -. They feed by stinging the plants and sucking their precious sap and not only do they dry out the plant and prevent its photosynthesis, but also transmit a virus to every plant they bite.

  -. The winged females are responsible for transmitting the plague to nearby plants and its reproduction is exponential, since females can give birth to new females without the need for males to fecundate, and these newborn babies are already perfectly formed (they do not lay eggs).

  -. There are about 500 species of aphid, among them the green aphid, as in the image.

  -. All of their species have a predilection for newer and tender shoots, although, depending on the species, some focus only on one type of plant and others have a wider range.

  And finally, here I formally introduce you to our colorful little garden heroine: a coleoptera of the Coccinellidae family.

  Our friends have precisely the instinct to lay their eggs near colonies of aphids and, because of being winged, they can also follow the winged aphid females to any other plant to also create another anti-aphid settlement there.

  One week after laying the eggs, the larvae of the ladybugs hatch; said larvae are capable of eating between 50 and 150 aphids per day.

  A figure not negligible although, if we consider that a single female aphid can create, throughout its life, a million aphids, it does not seem so much to us, does it?

  These larvae pass through 4 different states before forming the chrysalis to become a ladybug.

  The adult ladybug has an average life of 1 year and predates about 80 aphids per day, a figure that is not bad either.

  In the absence of aphids, our colorful heroines can temporarily feed on nectar of flowers and pollen, so we want to have some kind of flowers in our garden to attract them and keep them nearby.

  And speaking of predators, our red friends also have their own predators, such as birds, frogs, wasps, spiders and dragonflies, although it seems that one of the natural defenses of our ladybug is its bad taste in the mouth of those who eat them.

  To finish the article I will give you other tips to eliminate aphids:

  -. Spray the affected parts with water under pressure; remember that the sooner you act on the colony, the easier it will be to finish them off.

  -. Potassium soap at 2% every two weeks and with a minimum of 3 applications.

  -. Neem oil, an ecological alternative that also fights other types of pests apart from the aphid.

  -. Systemic insecticide with dimethoate in its composition.

  -. Nicotine spray.

Data Research Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Frontpage Image Source: 1


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Discussions

  1. miti

    Molto interessante, le coccinelle mi sono sempre state simpatiche ma adesso le adoro anche di più, visto che le piante del mio terrazzo sono spesso vittime degli afidi.

    (0)
  2. Nicholas

    Unfortunately we have another type of ladybugs, the harlequin. They eat the aphids too, but those bastards eat the regular ladybugs and each other too :S
    Not the perfect situation.

    (0)
    1. Miguel A. Cabanes Post author

      I just searched and read information about it because I did not know about this problem and definitely it seems they themselves are a plague that many countries are trying to control.
      Thanks for the info; I will research about it deeper.

      (1)
  3. Smitty

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention how ants develop an aphid colony in order to milk ’em. Yeah, we imported a gob of ladybugs into our fruit orchard several years ago and are pleased to see that they are still quite productive. We also successfully use the hand release method to strip the aphid/ant mix every few days. After carefully checking for precious ladybugs of course. You might be interested in my Hugel article here: http://144.202.71.28/hugelkultur/
    Cheers

    (1)
    1. Miguel A. Cabanes Post author

      What you comment is undoubtedly a very interesting topic that deserves an entire article.
      I’m taking a look at your article, right now.
      Regards!

      (1)

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