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Spider mites and Ladybugs

Spider mites and Ladybugs
March 1st, 2010

I have heard that Ladybugs can be used to control spider mites?

Ladybugs are general predator and will eat what they can find. However, spider mites are not the preferred food item for ladybugs. Ladybugs prefer large food items like aphids. That is the bad news and here is the good news, we offer some incredible predators such as Phytoseiulus persimilis, Amblyseius fallacis and Stethorus punctillium
Here are some comparisons between these predators.

CharacteristicsPersmilis FallacisStethorus
Release at Low Pest DensityYesYesYes
Release at High Pest DensityYesNoNo
Uses Pollen as Alternate Food SourceNoYesNo
Effective over wide range of humidityNoNoYes
Requires 50% Relative HumidityNoYesNo
Requires 60% Relative HumidityYesNoNo
Effective Over Wide Range of TemperaturesNoYesYes
Effective on Cool Conditions & outdoorsNoYesNo
Diapauses in Short Day ConditionsNoYesYes

Bluebirds and Mealworms

Bluebirds and Mealworms
March 8th, 2010

Dear Bug,
I am not sure if this is an appropriate question, but can you help me with my bluebirds. I have just started to see them, but there are very few insects around for them to eat. What can I give them?
Blue in Ontario

Dear Blue,
Bluebirds can be fed mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) which are a nutritious food supplement. Mealworms are not really worms at all but are the larval form of the darkling beetle. They are clean, do not carry human diseases and most importantly are a nutritious food supplement readily accepted by many birds.
Mealworms can be offered to bluebirds to:
* Entice them to use a nest box
* Assist the incubating female to find food quickly so she does not have to leave her eggs for long periods of time
* Act as supplementary food for nestlings if food becomes scarce when weather conditions prevent the parents from finding insects
* Help them survive during spells of severe winter weather
If you are looking for a bluebird feeder, check out our feeder (code BF-BBF) and we also offer mealworms (code MW)

The Bug

PS. Bluebirds first nesting can be as early as March. Make sure your bluebird boxes are clean and secure to the pole. Don’t forget to dust the floor with diatomaceous earth, called Insect Stop (code 3032) to help control bird mites.


March 15th, 2010

Dear Bug: I thought that carpenter ants were coming into my kitchen from outside, but since I have seen some inside, during the winter, I'm afraid that they are living in my kitchen. Can you help me get rid of them? Sincerely, Gourmet

Dear Gourmet,

Ants can be difficult to control inside your home. The best products to use are Borax based such as Ant Attack (code 5420). Borax or Boric Acid in these prepared baits are perceived as food by ants. The Worker ants will locate your borax baits by smell gather up all they can carry at one time and return to the nest with it. In the nest the ants will feed it to the queen and all of the other ants. Once eaten by the ants, boric acid causes them to have gas build up in their systems. This is not something that an ant can get rid of like a human. They die from it because they cannot expel it. The bait does not work right away, it may take a few days to weeks to see a difference.

The Bug

PS. Place bait into a Bug/Earwig trap (code 3079) to keep pets out, but ants can still get it!

Asian Ladybugs

Asian Ladybugs
March 22nd, 2010

Help Bug!
We are having some major problems with ladybugs. I know it is March, but I regularly kill 12 to 40 ladybugs in my windows almost daily. It has been like this for most of the winter, and quite bad since the beginning of February. What can you suggest for indoor traps or control of these cute pests?
Going Buggy

Dear Ms. Buggy
In many parts of the country, the Asian Ladybug (Harmonia axyridis) is making a menace of itself in spite of its agricultural benefits. As the weather cools, hordes of the new ladybugs swarm houses in search of warmth. The insects find even the tiniest crevice and pour into homes, dying in windowsills or flying erratically around lamps.
The new ladybug was imported from its usual range in Japan, Korea, Russia and China to regulate aphids and other plant pest that put a dent in American food crops (especially pecans and apples). Several controlled populations of the insects were released in the 1960’s through the 1990’s. The Asian Ladybugs proved their worth in regards to devouring the pests that were ruining crops.
Asian Ladybug Season: October through December

How to Manage this Insect: There are no effective traps for this insect

  • Use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to remove insects from window sills and corners. Take the vacuum outside to empty the canister and throw away the bags.

  • Seal all cracks and holes—especially around windows and doors.

  • Use a small pill container to scoop up insect and put outside. They are beneficial!
The Bug

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