Also known as Ladybugs, the most common of all beneficial insects, these voracious predators feed on aphids, adelgids, chinch bugs, asparagus beetle larvae, thrips, alfalfa weevils, bean thrips, grape root worms, Colorado potato beetle larvae, whitefly, and mites, as well as many other soft-bodied insects and eggs. And they are cost-effective, too.
Ladybugs are shipped to you in the adult stage. Each adult consumes about 5,000 aphids. Within 8 to 10 days of release each female ladybug lays 10 to 50 eggs daily on the underside of leaves. Eggs are usually deposited near prey such as aphids, often in small clusters in protected sites. Larvae grow from about 1 mm to 5 to 6 mm in length and may wander up to 40 feet in search of prey.
In 2 to 5 days the larvae emerge as dark alligator-like flightless creatures with orange spots. The larvae eat 50 to 60 aphids per day. After 21 days the larva attaches itself by the abdomen to a leaf or other surface to pupate and adults emerge in 2 to 8 days depending on the temperature, completing the cycle. Under ideal conditions (temperature 61°F to 82°F; ladybugs won't fly when 55°F or lower) everal generations may be produced.