Ladybirds, also known as either ladybeetles or lady birds, are small non-poisonous insects. Their main diet consists of the plant damaging aphid insect. Ladybirds are a relatively cheap insect to purchase and feed. They can be kept as pets, or released into the wild, where they can be expected to live up to 3 years. The following is a guide to purchasing live adult ladybirds.
Prepare a lady bird habitat before you make your purchase. If you have a garden or yard, the ladybirds can be set free outside in the evening hours. If you plan to keep your ladybirds in an indoor habitat, you will need a large container, terrarium, or bug keeper to accommodate the bugs. Place a dampened paper towel in the habitat to provide the ladybirds with water.
Locate a ladybug breeder. Home and garden stores generally carry live ladybirds in the Spring and Summer months. If you choose to buy from an online retailer, be sure that the breeder ships fresh ladybirds, and provides a guarantee of their health. It is best for the ladybirds if they are shipped in a container that contains plants, and is basically a home away from home for them.
Note the arrival date of the ladybirds, if they are being shipped. Being present when they arrive is helpful, especially if the weather is very hot, or very cold.
Purchase food for your ladybirds. If you have access to leaves and rose bushes, place some in the habitat for the ladybirds to find aphids to eat. Non-acidic fruits and soft raisins make good food as well, but the ladybirds will eventually need aphids. Otherwise, purchase ladybug food from an online retailer. Ladybug food generally comes in a powder form.
Keep the ladybirds in a warm spot, preferably with pesticide free plants and leaves in the container for their enjoyment. It is likely that the ladybirds will lay eggs and you will be able to view the ladybug life cycle.
If you release your ladybirds outside, be sure to do so in the evening hours. Spraying the area with some water before you release them may keep the ladybirds interested in staying put.
Do not release ladybirds outside if the temperature is below 12.8 degrees Celsius.