Where have all the Ladybugs gone?

So far this year I have yet to have seen a SINGLE ladybird. So many of my plants have been infested with greenfly, blackfly and aphids. Where are all my knights in dotty, shiny armour? I need my noble Paladins!

Any aphids? O.o

Help me, Coccinellidae. You’re my only hope! (Yes, I managed to get a Star Wars reference into a gardening blog!)

So, what can I possibly do? I know I can use a hose and blast off the majority of them, but if I did that on this plant above I would at best damage it, if not out-and-out kill in on the spot! I did this with my Camellia and it worked well, but Camellias are much stronger and can take a battering, these softer plants can’t. Brushing them off by hand is good, messy and sticky, but good. This doesn’t stop them coming back though.

I’m not going to include pesticides. I try to avoid using pesticides if I can. I know they work but they should really only be used as a very much last choice…. The point where it really isn’t a choice but a lack of options. I very much would rather use a natural predator but I have yet to find any!

I am constantly looking for the larvae or even just Ladybugs if I can. In my bag I have a small box ready to go if ever I find some. I don’t think there are any issues with moving Ladybugs from one area to another. I had done a fair bit of Googling and not found anything that says you can’t.  I also don’t want to have to buy Ladybugs. I’m not rolling in money and I try to do everything on as little of a budget as I can. So I am pretty much reduced to finding them and transporting them home!

Oh well… Back to my searching!

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