Plant parents use ladybugs for almost any kind of pest infestation, but do ladybugs eat thrips too? Do they eat thrips eggs? What about ladybug larvae? Let’s learn all these answers in the blog below.
Tiny thrips can destroy your beautiful plants in a matter of days. By the time you find out about them and take action, many of your plants will already be dead.
However, most plant lovers don’t like using chemicals or pesticides on their plants. So, why not try an organic and efficient way to eliminate thrips and other pests?
Let’s talk about ladybugs, the queen of bug eaters, who can rid you of not just thrips but also their eggs and larvae.
Do Ladybirds Eat Thrips?
Yes, they do. In fact, if you are wary of spraying pesticides in your garden, ladybugs might be the most natural and eco-friendly solution for your thrips infestation.
These beneficial insects eat not just thrips but a wide variety of common pests and insects.
Do Ladybirds Eat Thrip Eggs?
Yes, ladybugs eat thrips eggs and larvae as well.
A single thrip can lay more than 50 eggs, and it takes them just seven days to hatch and then another few days to grow. This is why they are so dangerous to plants.
Ladybugs help stop the infestation from growing by eating thrips in the egg stage itself, stopping them from spreading.
In fact, many other methods of controlling thrips are ineffective in killing eggs or larvae, but ladybugs chomp them up.
Do Ladybird Larvae Eat Thrips?
Ladybirds can comfortably eat adult thrips and their eggs. But even ladybird larvae are capable of solving your thrips problem.
A newly hatched ladybug larva can consume about 400 aphids by the time it grows into a ladybird (which is about a month’s time).
Ladybird larvae have a massive appetite for insects, and thrips are one of their favorite food sources.
How to Use Ladybirds in Gardens To Remove Thrips
There are two ways to bring ladybirds into your garden or save outdoor plants:
- Attract them to your garden
- Purchase them from a commercial seller
Let’s explore these two ways further.
Attracting Ladybugs Naturally
You need to make sure that you have a good source of water (such as a bowl of water). If your bowl is deep, make sure you fill it up with stones at the bottom so that ladybugs can get water without drowning in it.
Next, try to plant thyme or oregano in your garden. These are favorite hiding spots for ladybugs to protect themselves from predators.
You can also make a ladybug house (a box with raising or some other sugary substance). Make sure not to put pesticides on your plants because they can be harmful to ladybugs as well.
Lastly, make sure that there are decoy plants that aphids can attack. Keep decoy plants such as marigolds or radishes, which will attract aphids.
Ladybugs gorge on aphids, so if you have them in your garden, ladybugs will surely come.
Buying Them From a Commercial Seller
If you wish to purchase ladybugs, here are some essential points to remember before releasing ladybirds in your garden:
- After purchase, put them in your fridge till you release them into the garden.
- Release them after sunset so that they don’t simply fly away. Ladybirds cannot fly after dark.
- Also, make sure you follow all the other points we mentioned above; otherwise, the ladybugs will go away after a while
Other Things Ladybugs Love to Eat
The ladybird beetle feeds on several types of insects, but let’s talk about its favorite meals. Here’s a list of some common ladybug foods.
- Fruit flies
- Spider mites
- Flower nectar
Ladybirds love to eat aphids the most. They also like to eat insects and plants that have soft and small bodies. So anything from a fungus to jelly would work for them.
However, there are a few insects that the ladybird beetle would never eat, including ants, dragonflies, lavender, assassin bugs, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
What gets rid of thrips?
Ladybugs are the most organic and natural way to get rid of thrips and other garden pests. Apart from that, you can try many things such as neem oil, orange and lemon oil, diatomaceous earth, spinosad, sulfur, sticky traps, lint rollers, vacuuming them off, and kaolin clay.
Will ladybugs eat beneficial mites?
Predator mites are beneficial mites because they help control the population of other unwanted pests.
Ladybugs are natural predators of several insects, including mites. Ladybugs cannot differentiate between predatory mites and other mites so that they will eat predatory mites as well.
In fact, if you are trying several pest control strategies, don’t use predatory mites and ladybugs together because it will backfire.
Do ladybugs eat thrips and spider mites?
Yes, ladybugs would eat thrips and spider mites both. They can also consume their eggs, larvae, spiders, white flies, fruit flies, and aphids. Besides insects, ladybugs feed on leaves, raisins, jelly, and fungi.
Can you put ladybugs in a grow tent?
They can stay in a grow tent for about a week or a month. They might help to get rid of your pest problem, but eventually, they will die in a grow tent. So it is best if you use a different pest control method in your grow tent.
Ladybugs are mother nature’s pest control. If you have a thrips infestation, releasing ladybugs onto it can help quickly solve the problem. The best part is that the bugs will even eat away the eggs so that there is no chance for the thrips to come back.