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How many aphids will a ladybug eat? It is a great ally for the farmer

Jak wiele mszyc zje biedronka? To świetny sprzymierzeniec rolnika
  • How many aphids can a ladybug larva eat? Is the beetle equally voracious?
  • The ladybug is one of the farmer's most important natural allies.

American scientists noticed several years ago that some pests choose food that is of the highest quality. This applies to both ladybugs and aphids. While it is perhaps not surprising that aphids look for plants with a large leaf surface and with a large amount of cell sap, it may be somewhat surprising that ladybugs are also picky.

Please note that interest in ladybugs in terms of their usefulness in protecting crops against pests is nothing new. For example, during World War I, in 1916, Americans imported the Asian ladybug to California, which was supposed to help reduce crop yields caused by pests. Currently, the Asian ladybug is also present in Poland, although it is an invasive species for native ladybugs.

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It is estimated that just one ladybug larva can consume up to 2,000 aphids during its development, which lasts about a month. Ladybug beetles are also voracious – one beetle can eat over 200 aphids in a day. Generally, the presence of ladybugs on a plantation is never a coincidence. In the insect world, it is a predator (for example against aphids). He looks for places where these pests appear, preferably in large numbers. It most often hunts for aphids on plants where aphids are abundant. Then access to food is easier and the ladybug can meet its nutritional needs without searching for new places from which it could look for potential food.

The ladybug follows the aphids

So we can find ladybugs wherever aphids appear. Let's pay attention at this moment, especially to cereals or corn. Aphids are currently colonizing ears of corn on some plantations, and as harvesting progresses, they will move in large numbers to other plants that will provide them with food. The ladybugs will follow them.

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There is no point in comparing the effectiveness of plant protection products and insecticides to the effects of a ladybug. This insect is our natural ally and works in the background, because we often do not notice the beneficial effects of ladybugs on crops. Meanwhile, the ladybug can be a biological protection tool that doesn't cost us anything.

There are 76 species of ladybugs in Poland. The water cover does not necessarily have to be red – there are also those with orange or even slightly yellow covers. There are also ladybugs with black covers with red dots.

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