How to Catch Lady Bugs

Written by kyle mcbride
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Ladybirds are beneficial insects. They are predators who eat plant-eating insects such as aphids, scales and mites, so gardeners and farmers welcome them onto their property. Ladybirds will stay where there is food, so they can be caught and brought to your garden for release. If there are enough pest insects in your garden to keep the ladybirds well fed, they will stay and devour the insects for you, saving you from having to apply costly and harmful pesticides. Ladybirds can be found generally between May and October in and near fresh foliage which has not been treated with pesticides---especially if there are aphids present.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pill bottles
  • Net
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Nylon stocking
  • Rubber band

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  1. 1

    Collect ladybirds from plants. Hold a pill bottle or small container under the ladybug, then tap the plant to dislodge the ladybug to fall into the bottle.

  2. 2

    Sweep a net over the plant to catch the ladybug as it flies away. Sweep the net in the air to catch ladybirds in flight.

  3. 3

    Collect a large concentration of ladybirds with a vacuum cleaner. Remove the vacuum head, then insert the leg of a nylon stocking into the nozzle toe first. Secure the top of the stocking around the end of the nozzle with a rubber band. Vacuum up the ladybirds. Remove the rubber band, then pull the stocking out of the nozzle. The ladybirds are trapped in the stocking leg.

  4. 4

    Trap ladybirds in commercial beetle traps that do not contain pesticides. The trap contains a substance that attracts the ladybirds. When the ladybug enters the trap, it falls into the cone-shaped funnel that empties into a collection bag. The top of the bag is small and so it is difficult for the ladybirds to get out. Check the trap routinely to collect the ladybirds before they get out of the bag.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't confuse ladybirds with Mexican bean beetles. Mexican bean beetles are in the same family as ladybirds and they look similar, but Mexican bean beetles are not beneficial insects. Mexican bean beetles are pest insects which eat plants. The bean beetles can be distinguished from ladybirds species because bean beetles have 16 black spots on their wing covers.

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