They say that ladybug larvae (babies) look “like tiny alligators.”
But ladybug larvae are really good to have in your garden — they eat their own weight in aphids and other garden pests every day, and grow up to eat thousands more. Alligators, on the other hand, hardly eat any aphids at all, and are generally not good to have in your vegetable garden.
To avoid confusion, I have made you, my friends, a visual guide to The Difference Between Baby Ladybugs and Tiny Alligators (Which They Are Said To Resemble).
Some interesting things I learned while researching this:
- The best time to release ladybugs is in the evening — it cuts down on the number that immediately fly away. You can even release them over the course of several days, setting out a spoonful or so each night. Keep them chilled until it’s time to release them. (Double check with your supplier, who may have better advice for your region.)
- Baby alligators are absurdly cute. Still not good pets, though. Leave wildlife in the wild.
- Ladybugs lay 10-50 eggs on the bottom of aphid-infested leaves. The eggs are bright orange — if you find any, leave them there!
- Praying mantises, nematodes, green lacewings, and even paper wasps are other helpful garden friends / fierce predators, who will kill and eat insect pests. Don’t spray poison — it kills the good ones, too!
One more thing — you can now buy my Square Foot Garden Guide and other fun stuff at my shop: shop.plantandplate.com
Check it out, and let me know if there are other things you think I should offer. Thanks!
*That said, ladybugs don’t seem to be doing anything about the gophers or the neighbor’s cat that likes to poop in the garden. I bet an alligator would take care of those problems.