View Full Version : Beneficial garden bugs - Posted by Julie
24-11-2002, 01:01 AM
I am trying to buy ladybeetles (ladybirds/bugs) in Australia. Does anyone know who sells them? I have contacted alot of Nurseries and they just laugh at me. I have been told about some websites for beneficial bugs but so far none of them have ladybeetles. Also I am after a ladybeetle house that attracts them. I know they sell them in USA but I haven't been able to find them in Australia. I am in Sydney. Please help.
24-11-2002, 01:01 AM
Posted by Mont:
G'day Julie. I can't help with your request unfortunately - our Sydney garden gets them but not in the quantity that you would want. What's their beneficial function in the garden?
24-11-2002, 01:02 AM
Posted by John:
Hi Julie - can't help directly but my experience is as follows
I have a number of different types of Brassicas self seeding in my (Blue Mountains) garden. As these mature and go to seed the sprouting tops get covered in aphids in plague proportions. About two weeks following this however I have noticed that one or two ladybirds start to appear (as well as other predators), they stay, breed and before very long there are no aphids left..... Sprouting Brassicas seem to be #1 on the aphid menu, and Aphids #1 on the Ladybird menu - which seem to appear out of nowhere then breed up quickly to proportionate numbers.
....Thus.... I would suggest that if you wanted large numbers of Lady beetles, I would mass sow a crop of quick growing Brassica (eg Pak Choi), then sit back and watch...
hope this helps
24-11-2002, 01:03 AM
Posted by gunalan:
Warm Autumn greetings from Korea!
Two years ago, I found a number of lady birds in an organic farm in one of the southern provinces of Korea. The kindergarten school run by the farm, had the picture of ladybird as its emblem!
So, when I first read your letter a few days ago, I felt happy, at the same time wondered what is the significance of this species in nature farming. So, I just thought of enquiring whether you were able to get the lady-birds you needed, and also to ask you to enlighten me about the place of lady-birds in bio-diverse farm activity.
As you may know, I am just a beginner in Permaculture and would like to learn from people like you who have expertise in this. Hence this request.
With all good wishes,
Towards Earth and People Care,
24-11-2002, 01:04 AM
Posted by vix:
I'm in Fremantle. We grow Albizia lophanthe, a West Australian tree, which attreacts lots of aphids and then ladybirds. Their young eat lots of the aphids. Whenever I've grown an Albizia the ladybirds eand up. They are quick shade and only live about four years, Great pioneer species.
30-11-2002, 11:20 AM
30-11-2002, 11:27 AM
Hi all, thank-you so much for your replies. The reason I wanted ladybeetles is to control aphids, but it seems I have to attract aphids to attract ladybeetles. I do have a quite a few ladybeetles that came here on their own accord and I don't have an aphid problem. I saw on an American Gardening Show that attracting ladybeetles to one's garden is beneficial. So I have decided that if I am not having a problem with aphids, then I have enough ladybeetles already.
I am now researching into which insects are beneficial to my garden. Now I have a problem with something eating my seedlings, but I can't see anything on them. Perhaps they are nocturnal?
There is a place called Bugs for Bugs at Mundubbera in Qld. They have predatory mites etc and maybe even your ladybirds. Worth a try anyway. Good growing. Marg.
04-02-2003, 02:03 PM
Hi Julie, the summer 2002, 'The Organic Gardener' mag has a whole article on 'The good bugs'.
There is a book avail thru website http://www.goodbugs.org.au. Book is called The Good Bug Book.
In this article, 3 NSW suppliers are listed-
*Benificial Bug Co.,Richmond, Ph 4570 1331, http://www.benificialbugs.com.au
*Bioworks Pty Ltd, Nambucca Heads, Ph. 6568 3555
*Ecogrow Aust. Pty Ltd, Bondi Junction, Ph.93890888, http://www.ecogrow.com.au
I hope this helps u if not enough bugs naturally come to u!!
26-02-2003, 08:48 PM
Many years ago I planted some tree tomato plants (New Zealanders invented the name tamarillo) at a friends place in Perth. They did extremely well, absolutely thriving.
Then one trip to Perth, to my horror, the beatiful big leaves were looking tattered and on closer inspection they were being eaten by aphids. :shock:
I went straight to the telephone and rang the Agriculture Dept. Luckily I asked for entimology and not the gardening section. My question:Where can I get ladtbirds or praying mantids? ???
The kind old entemoligist on the phone asked why I wanted them and when I replied he paused. I would think that the aphids would be doing your tree tomatos a favour, he said in a cheery voice. They are trying to lose their old leaves at the moment to make way for new ones.
I went back outside and checked. Sure enough, the aphids were only eating the old, dying leaves. The new leaves, just sprouting were looking remarkably vibrant.
I occasionally see aphids in my garden but never fret about their presence. There is always something ready to clean them up. :D
13-10-2005, 12:27 PM
I like these posts ...Any of the old Posters still visiting here still?
15-10-2005, 04:23 AM
Going back to Julie's question, here are a few paragraphs of info that I collected on ladybugs/ladybird beetles:
Both adults and larvae feed on many different soft-bodied insects but aphids are their main food source. One orange/black alligator-like larva will eat about 400 aphids during its development and a single adult can eat 5,000 aphids in its lifetime. In addition, they will also eat other insects such as mealybugs and spider mites as well as the eggs of the Colorado Potato Beetle and European Corn Borer.
It has been found that the use of shipped-in beetles is not a very good practice. Beetles collected from distant areas and shipped to other locations may be of less value as a pest eater than the local beetle population. It would be better to rely upon local beetles to distribute themselves and multiply in accordance with nature's balance. Purchased beetles often fly away from gardens.
You can collect natural species from hay or grain fields. It is best to turn collected beetles into the garden after sunset, as they navigate by the sun and will be more likely to stay around if there is prey available.
You can grow plants to attract them, pollen and vector flowers and weeds like fennel, dill, cilantro, caraway, angelica, tansy, wild carrot & yarrow, and also coreopsis, scented geraniums, white Cosmos & grains.
Wheast is a combination of whey and yeast that can be sprayed on plants to attract lady beetles (wheast is an artificial diet).
In the fall, adults hibernate in plant refuse and crevices. They often do this en masse where several hundred adults will gather at the base of a tree, along a fence row or under a rock. They especially like areas where leaves protect them from cold winter temperatures.
On severely infested plants, drape a floating row cover or thin sheet over the plant and release the ladybugs underneath. Within a day, the ladybugs will have found the aphids and will be happily munching away at them. If there is no prey for them, they will leave in search of it.
25-10-2005, 11:29 AM
Do your self a favour and read Masonabu Fukuoka's book ' one straw revolution'. Its not a long book but it gives great insite about how to work with nature and not panic.
25-10-2005, 01:55 PM
Please if you must import anti bugs there not the cane toads :shock:
I agree bugs eating bugs is a great thing ,,,it must be its natural isnt it
Scott A. Meister
28-10-2005, 09:42 PM
Love this post.
Recently here in Tokyo we had a major aphid infestation...and a ladybug deficiency...One of my friends went to his local park and hunted down some ladybugs and brought them home to his balcony garden...and that seemed to do the trick. They were locals, so I guess they didn't mind doin' a little work for a local human. So, if you've got a small problem, that seems to do the trick, however, I think planting ladybug attractors is a smarter way to go if you can do it...before the aphid season arises.
As for the ladybug houses. I don't think they're really supposed to attract ladybugs, but act more like a shelter once they're already there...and it gives them a nice cozy winter cabin to hang out in so they're well rested and ready to slave away for you in the spring. It also keeps them from invading your house, which is something they tend to do in the fall.
If you'd like some instructions on how to build a ladybug house of your own...the plans are here. If you're not skilled in the woodshop, I'm sure there's someone in your area who is...just give them these plans...
Douglas J.E. Barnes
01-11-2005, 09:02 AM
That's a nice idea, but we here in Tokyo should be prepared for them to fill up with stink bugs.
A well mulched garden or planter would play host to labybug larvae over the winter.
Scott A. Meister
01-11-2005, 11:11 PM
Stinkbugs...yeah...you never know...but they're also a beneficial...you just don't want too many of them...and you want the right species (specifically the one known as the spined soldier bug. The others can wreak just as much havoc on your garden/field as aphids. The spined soldier sticks with eating other bugs..however, the National Audubon Society Filed Guide To Insects & Spiders (North America) has this to consider:
"Although spined soldier bugs destroy many harmful insects such as caterpillars, they are not totally beneficial because they also prey on useful insects, such as ladybug beetles. The widespread Underspotted Spined Solder Bug (P. maculiventris), same size, has a conspicuous black spot underneath on its pale rear."
So we're probably just best off planting beneficial attractors such as... members of the carrot family, dill, parsley, angelica, fennel, or Queen Anne's lace. Daisies, strawflowers, goldenrod, yarrow, petunias, cosmos, zinnias, nasturtiums, marigolds, and sunflowers, garden sage, thyme, oregano, lavender, catnip and other mints, rosemary, carroway, anise, coriander, sweet marjoram, and tansy (not ragwort).
and another article I read suggested that we should also make sure we keep things humid as "...Many beneficials are tiny and lose their precious body moisture quickly. They require a habitat humid enough to prevent dehydration and keep them active. This can be established by placing plants close together to create a shaded, moist microenvironment. Misting or constant drip irrigation will also contribute to raising moisture levels."
oh...and regarding the well-mulched planter as a place for ladybug larvae to winter...I think the operative word there is "should." In a perfect world, that would be nice, however I also read recently that ladybugs prefer to crawl under wood. Come to think of it, this makes a lot of sense because I remember observing lots of ladybugs in our firewood pile while splitting wood to prepare for the long Nebraska winters...especially the wood near the ground and in places where the bark was starting to come away from the wood.
It might be a good idea to toss a small pile of wood somewhere (hopefully away from your home to avoid termites, etc). Or even make a small pile of slabs of bark in a planter and see what happens. It's something to experiment with anyway.
29-03-2009, 12:20 PM
:razz: Nadia, I live in the grampians area and I too am looking for either a way to breed and sell ladybugs/ladybirds or to buy. I live in an area that is farmed year round and most farmers use pesticides. Unfortunately it also affects the LB. I have had them in a terrarium in a preschool class room in America so I know you can buy and breed them. They are shipped frozen. We know it can be done now we just have to find the correct way to do them here in AU. I think it would help the environment to properly repopulate these friends. Looking forward to more discussions. C
25-06-2011, 07:49 AM
I was at an organic growers meeting last night and the guest speaker was from a company that sells benificial bugs to Farmers and hame gardeners....very interesting..
They also have some organic products too that sound quite good
you should be able to contact them at www.ecoorganicgarden.com.au
hope this helps
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