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Identification and Biology : Lady beetle adults are slightly elongated in shape and can range from 4-7 mm in length.  They have a prominent black and white pattern behind the head, and black spots on red forewings.  Lady beetle larvae are dark and alligator-like with three pairs of prominent legs.  They are 4-7 mm in length when fully developed.  Eggs are small (about 1 mm), yellow –orange,  and spindle-shaped.

Target pest: Adults and larvae prey mainly on aphids.  Reported prey includes cotton, pea, melon, cabbage, potato, green peach, and corn leaf aphids.  If aphids are scarce, beetles and larvae can feed on small insect larvae, insect eggs, mites and, ocasionally, nectar, and honeydew secreted by aphids and other sucking insects.

Mode of action: Ladybirds grasp their prey with their jaws and suck them empty.  The older larva and the adult beetle will completely consume prey that is not too large.  Young larvae are cannibalistic.  The feeding activity of ladybugs will be deterred when the prey colony is protected by ants.

Introduction method and release rates: Introduce the ladybugs on the infected plants in the evening or early morning to avoid them flying away.  1 bag (250 adults) covers up to 10 medium plants or 3 trees.