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Ladybeetles, Beneficial Insects in the Low Desert

Vine Rule

    These rounded beetles come in many sizes and colors. The most common species found in Arizona is the convergent ladybeetle, named for the two converging white stripes on the back of its thorax. The beetles are brightly colored with red front wings speckled with black markings. The adults lay bright orange football-shaped eggs on plants near where aphids are found. The eggs hatch into black and orange bumpy larvae that eat hundreds of aphids per day. As the larvae grow, they resemble tiny beaded dragons. When the larvae mature they form a rounded black and orange-marked pupa attached to the plant. The pupae is sometimes mistaken for a bird dropping.

    Lady bird beetles consume thousands of aphids.

Ladybeetle pupae

  • Give ladybeetles and other beneficials a chance before applying insecticides which may kill the beneficials as well as the pests.

  • Tolerate a small pest population, think of the pests as dinner for the beneficials.

  • Learn to recognize the good guys in all their life stages.

  • Focus your energies on creating a healthy environment for ladybeetles and they will come on their own; it is not necessary to purchase them.

Ladybeetle larvae

To Gardening and Landscaping in Maricopa County, AZ

The University of Arizona, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cooperative Extension, in Maricopa County.
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Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, James A. Christenson, Director, Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Arizona.

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Last Updated May 18, 2011
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