What’s up, ladybug?

What’s up, ladybug?

A few weeks ago I noticed these two lovely ladybirds on my celery leaves. They were there for a reason; I had a thriving population of aphids underneath the glossy leaves and ladybirds and their larvae feed on them. These ladybirds knew that if they laid their eggs here then their larvae would have a steady food source. And that’s exactly what happened. Some time later I noticed the black larvae crawling around underneath the leaves eating the aphids. I also saw a tiny praying mantis gobbling them up too. I felt so happy that my no-spray gardening policy had taken effect. I don’t use any type of spray, homemade or otherwise on my garden, and that’s because I don’t want to kill beneficial insects that will act as predators. Sometimes the use of spray is warranted, on an indoor plant with mealybug for example, but in a vegetable garden the pests and predators generally work it out between themselves. If not, there are many other things to try before reaching for the trigger.

By | 2016-11-10T10:30:25+00:00 October 16th, 2015|Nursery|3 Comments


  1. Bill July 17, 2016 at 5:59 am - Reply

    Hi Laurel,

    The beetles in the photo for your “What’s up, Ladybug?” article look like 26 spot beetles.
    These beetles are herbivores and are more likely to eat your celery than aphids.

    • Laurel July 18, 2016 at 5:36 am - Reply

      Hi Bill

      Thanks for your comment. I did consider that the ladybirds could be the 26 Spotted variety but after consulting my Fauna of Melbourne book and several other sources I did feel that they were the Common Spotted Ladybird. I also had larvae and pupating stages on the plants and observed the ladybirds pupating. I understand the larvae of the 26 Spotted is yellow and this larvae was black with orange markings, as is the larvae of the Common Spotted Ladybird. I also observed the larvae feeding on the aphids and had no damage done to the celery, so felt confident that is was the right one.
      However I am in no way an entomologist and appreciate any feedback and comments that you may have.

  2. Paul Calneggia July 13, 2017 at 6:18 am - Reply

    Hi, Laurel, I would suggest using a homemade garlic insecticide spray. I’ve been using this in my vegetable garden and it’s effective.

Leave A Comment