There are 450 species of ladybugs in North America, most of which are very useful as natural enemies. These cute little insects swallow a lot of plant pests, such as aphids and mealybugs.
This Ladybug’s corpse It is usually red, orange or yellow with black spots, but some species have different patterns or no markings at all. Their shells can be black, blue or other colors.
In most cases, seeing a ladybug in your garden is considered a good thing, and even their peculiar black larvae are masters of pest control.
Unfortunately, some varieties were introduced to the United States only to prove to be harmful.
Some beetles, such as the Mexican bean beetle and Japanese beetle, It can also harm plants, swallow fruits, and even eat roots.
In addition, it is well known that harlequin ladybugs can bite people, causing many human allergic reactions and various side effects in dogs.
As a general rule, you want ladybirds in your garden, but it’s important to know if natural remedies are Neem oil can harm or kill ladybugs, And how to adjust the use to match the type of ladybug you have.
Can neem oil kill ladybugs?
When it comes into direct contact with ladybugs, the organic solution of neem oil can be fatal, and if ingested, it can harm or kill a group of people.
Thankfully, there are some ways to apply Neem Oil Insecticide This will cause greater harm to unwanted species, while at the same time less risk to beneficial species.
The effect of neem oil on ladybugs
Neem oil tends to produce different effects, depending on whether it is clarified or unprocessed.
Raw neem oil comes from crushed seeds and other parts Neem, And contains a variety of active natural chemicals, especially azadirachtin.
The chemical composition of azadirachtin is very similar to important insect hormones that regulate hunger and development.
After ingestion, azadirachtin can cause ladybug larvae to stop eating and may prevent them from developing to the pupal stage.
In adults, it can reduce fertility or stop laying eggs altogether.
When azadirachtin is removed from neem oil for use in other insecticides, the resulting clarified hydrophobic neem oil is less effective as a poison and is more effective as a contact killer.
When ladybugs or other insects are coated with clear neem oil, this substance enters their respiratory tract and causes them to suffocate.
Since these two neem oils are applied differently, you can choose the application method that has the desired effect on the number of ladybirds in the garden.
Neem leaf spray and ladybug
Clarified neem oil has different potency, ranging from 0.5% to 3%.
You can buy the oil itself, or you can buy pre-made commercial sprays, such as Bonide Ready to Use Neem Oil Spray.
To make your own spray, add 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap or pure castile soap, emulsify a gallon of water and mix gently.
Next, add four teaspoons of clarified neem oil using your preferred potency and put it in your spray bottle.
Apply thoroughly to get pests to infect every corner and crevice of the plant, including the underside of the leaves.
The oil takes effect immediately and dissipates from the surface of the plant within 45 minutes to 1 hour without leaving any residue.
Repeat the treatment every other day for 14 days or until the infection has completely disappeared.
Using this spray at dusk or dawn will kill harmful insects while minimizing the risk of harming beneficial insect pollinators (such as adult ladybugs).
The disadvantage of using this foliar spray is that the ladybug lays its eggs on the leaves, and the larvae and pupal stages are susceptible to neem oil.
This means that you will eventually reduce the number of adults in the future, while leaving any existing adults unharmed and able to lay more eggs in the future.
Therefore, you may want to avoid a preventive application every 14 days, because if you want to increase the number of ladybugs, it will be counterproductive.
Neem soil soaking and ladybug
Neem soil soaking Use unprocessed neem oil for greater potency and longer lasting application.
When buying oil, make sure to buy only 100% cold-pressed raw neem oil, as the heat in the extraction process will reduce the effectiveness of neem oil.
Dyna-Gro pure cold-pressed neem oil is a very useful brand.
For soaking, you need to add 2 tablespoons of raw neem oil per gallon of water.
Pour this mixture on the roots of infected plants. For small or medium-sized plants, use 2 to 4 cups. For larger plants, such as shrubs and trees, you need more.
The roots of plants will absorb azadirachtin and become a systemic insecticide that can poison the insects that pierce and destroy the leaves without harming the insects that fall directly on the plant.
A single application can protect plants for up to 22 days and can be reapplied every month as a preventive measure.
The good news is that neem soaking liquid can kill ladybug pests that feed on food crops or other treated plants, and these plants are not toxic to humans.
Therefore, you can safely eat pumpkins that are toxic to pumpkin beetles, although it is generally preferable to treat the plants before harvesting rather than before.
Because azadirachtin is present in the plant itself, it is almost harmless to beneficial ladybugs, although studies have shown that about 20% of azadirachtin remains in the insects that ingest it, so your ladybug population may still be A corpse that is slightly affected when it feeds on aphids or other plant pests.
Fortunately, this effect is small, and there is no evidence that this second-hand ingestion is harmful to ladybirds, unlike ants that will harvest a lot Aphids honeydew Azadirachtin is incorporated in the undigested state.