Here’s the thing with pests. By definition they must be doing something to bother you. And in a very weird way, I welcome the sight of pests in my garden. If they’re trolling around on my tomato, lettuce, and potato leaves it must mean that they value the meal. And if they value the meal, it must mean that good stuff is being offered. Twisted, but it just seems like if the bugs dig my plants I’m on to something.
Today the cavalry were all ladybugs AND (this was cool) ladybug larvae.
The ladybugs are all over the potatoes, peas, and greens. They cluster together sometimes in the shade of leaves (or twine), strike out on their own for some water or bugs, and get down to larvae business.
It is worth rejoicing if you are seeing not just ladybugs, but the larvae. They eat like my 1 year old son – cramming fistful after fistful of pests into their jaws while they build up the means to hit the pupae stage before becoming the black-spotted dealers of bug justice that we all know and love.
The larvae just look amazing to me. Most of the time they are described as alligators and I can see that. They taper toward the end and the tail can look like the scaly, segmented tail of an alligator. But the blur of dusty red on their middle, the black of their bodies, their impressive jaws – they look like deadly aliens.
The larval stage lasts a while, several weeks. The pupae stage happens when they decide to take a little rest. After about a week, the pupae are gone and we’ve got adult ladybugs ready to defend the harvest.
The good guys are here bad guys. Head for the hills.