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Lady Beetle Larvae

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  • Lady Beetle Larvae

    I have noticed about 10 weird purple insects with orange markings on my aubergines. At first I thought oh dear and sprayed them off. They came back the next day. Googling says these are lady beatle larvae and that they are going to eat all the aphids. Well that sounds good as I get big problems with aphids every year all over my chllis and peppers. These are next to the aubergines.

    So do I just let them have at it? I have been spraying my plants with neem oil to try and reduce the aphids and have had to put an ant trap down as they were farming them and there are loads and loads of ants. They seem to have gone now. Shall i continue with the neem oil or just allow these weird looking things sort it out. I presume it means I will get lots of the actual red/black lady birds things too?
    Last edited by Bren In Pots; 03-06-2020, 06:34 PM. Reason: Edited title

  • #2
    What you sprayed was the best stage of a ladybird. They have the greatest aphid consumption before they pupate.
    I would follow the ants back to the nest and pump a hefty dose of crawling insect killer down the entrance followed by a plug of wet clay.

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    • #3
      I would leave nature to get on with it, if I spray at all I just use diluted washing up liquid, which deters the aphids and ants without killing everything.
      If I'm not on here, I'm probably fishing.

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      • #4
        I don't think neem oil kills them - it just deters them. And it doesn't surprise me as the stuff stinks. It deters me!

        I didnt spray them too heavily and they all returned anyway. I knew where the ant nest was as I had tried to remove it with hot water before I bought the little bait trap. Water didn't work but the trap appears to have worked as I have not seen any more ants.

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        • #5
          I'm just not quite sure why you want to kill off the ants?

          https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=503
          "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nicos View Post
            I'm just not quite sure why you want to kill off the ants?

            https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=503
            Well, they do encourage the aphids, try to fight off the ladybirds, and even move aphids about to fresh growth.
            Unless their are loads of ants, though, they are unlikely to make that much difference to the aphid population.

            I did have to purchase some ant killer this yeah for myself, though, as black ants were killing my broccoli seedlings. I lost 4 of 7 plants to them. And it was definitely the ants; I watched them do it to one of the plants. They mass the base of the stem, and chew through it, severing the plant.

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            • #7
              I have never seen ants chew through the stem of a plant. I have watched them remove all of the soil from the root stock of a plant and kill it that way.
              I have in the last day or two had to lift a strawberry plant due to ants trying to kill it by removing the soil. There were gaps an inch wide under the plant. I gave there eggs a thick coat of crawling insect spray. They should take the sprayed eggs to where they rebuild and poison themselves.
              Ants often dig under solid things like slabs and water butts causing them to become unstable.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Plot70 View Post
                I have never seen ants chew through the stem of a plant. I have watched them remove all of the soil from the root stock of a plant and kill it that way.
                I have in the last day or two had to lift a strawberry plant due to ants trying to kill it by removing the soil. There were gaps an inch wide under the plant. I gave there eggs a thick coat of crawling insect spray. They should take the sprayed eggs to where they rebuild and poison themselves.
                Ants often dig under solid things like slabs and water butts causing them to become unstable.
                I never have before this year, either, but I can quite assure you it happened. All of the affected plants were severed in the same way (not all the way through, but just all the way around until only a thin piece of the core tissue remained), all of them had ants living underneath them, and as I say, I even caught them in the act one time. Bear in mind the plant stems were only about 3mm across at this stage.
                I since looked it up online, and apparently black ants do sometimes do this to young plants they "don't like". They don't eat the plant, or anything like that, rather they simply decide it is in their way and needs getting rid of.

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                • #9
                  Talking about Ladybird Larvae, a little heads up that Ladybirds often lay their eggs on Elderflower leaves due to them being loved by Blackfly, so please think twice or three times before hacking back Elderflower trees over the next couple of months, chances are it will be covered with Ladybird larvae.
                  Always aim for the best result possible not the best possible result

                  Forever indebted to Potstubsdustbins

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ameno View Post
                    I since looked it up online, and apparently black ants do sometimes do this to young plants they "don't like". They don't eat the plant, or anything like that, rather they simply decide it is in their way and needs getting rid of.
                    It's a pity that one can't teach/breed them to selectively take out things like horsetail, couch etc.

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