Ladybugs are not only considered lucky charms, they are also excellent pest eaters. You should take advantage of these qualities. Breeding your own ladybugs is easy with our step-by-step guide.
Table of Contents
1. Provide material
If you want to support the reproduction of these little helpers, you can easily breed a ladybug colony yourself. The most important accessories are a glass container (vivarium) with a capacity of at least one liter and a piece of fine-mesh insect net.
In addition you need:
- aphids as food
- Crepe paper
- rubber band
- fine brush
- water atomizer
2. Prepare glass cabinets
The so-called vivarium is nothing more than an observation box, in this case a glass container that can be used to breed a colony of ladybugs. It offers the opportunity to follow and observe the species-appropriate rearing and development of these animals, which is not only interesting for children.
- set up in an undisturbed place
- avoid frequent rearranging
- ensure sufficient moisture inside
- Line the base with crepe paper that has been folded several times
- then slightly moisten
3. Load containers
The right time to breed ladybugs yourself is in the spring between April and May. Now you should be on the lookout for aphids or infested plants and of course ladybugs. Aphids hibernate as so-called winter eggs in the shelter of trees. As a result, they can be found in dense bushes, on roses, nettle tuffs, and other herbaceous plants. Proceed according to the following instructions:
- Catch ladybugs with a small net
- put the collected beetles in the prepared glass container
- Add plant parts infested with aphids
- Renew plant material every two to three days
- otherwise there is a risk of mold formation
- Mold deadly for breeding
- add a few drops of honey as additional food for beetles
- close after loading
In addition to aphids, the beetles also feed on spider mites and scale insects, some of which can be found on indoor plants. If necessary, you can wait until mid-May and then collect leaves or plant stems with ladybird larvae.
4. Close the jar
The next step in breeding ladybugs is to cover the glass container with a piece of fine mesh insect netting and secure it with a conventional rubber band.
- Net keeps bugs in the jar
- sufficient air supply or ventilation guaranteed
- put in a bright place
- about 20 to 22 degrees Celsius
5. Cultivate breeding
After the beetles have moved into the glass container, they go in search of food.
- regular supply of aphids is essential
- daily watering important
- Spray into glass with atomizer
Anyone who has immediately used ladybug larvae must of course also provide them with sufficient food. Only after pupation do they no longer need to be fed.
6. Observe further development
If the conditions are optimal for the beetles, they will lay their eggs. The eggs are oval, yellowish and are laid in small groups. A female can have up to 800 eggs. Egg laying takes place around the end of April/beginning of May.
- Larvae hatch after five to eight days
- begin eating immediately
- ongoing aphid replenishment is now particularly important
- three to four moults in one to two months
- Main feeding phase with up to 100 aphids per day
- last instar pupation, six to nine days
- Rest period, no food intake
- Beetles soft and pale when hatched
- typical appearance after a few hours
- can be released straight away
If you like it a little easier, the trade offers ready-made breeding kits. They are an exciting project, especially for children, where they can experience the development from the egg to the finished beetle up close. This is hardly possible in nature. The procedure is usually explained step by step in an easily understandable way. These sets usually contain all the necessary utensils needed to breed ladybugs, including the breeding box and larvae.
frequently asked Questions
Their appearance varies from species to species. However, there are some characteristics that they all have in common. They are dark, flat, broad and curved in shape, with three long sternum hairs and light spots on the sides. Individual protruding body segments covered with warts with bristles or thorns are particularly striking.
That can happen. As long as a lack of food is not the cause, there is usually no need to intervene. Nevertheless, it does not hurt to separate the larvae from each other with a brush. Often weaker and sick animals are eaten by others, this is a completely natural process.
At first they are tiny, sometimes only a millimeter in size. During their development, they then grow to about 12 mm.
No, it is better not to disturb the animals. In addition, they are relatively quick and could seize the opportunity to escape.