The Fattest Ladybugs…Ever

Posted: April 26, 2013 in Urban farming

We have incredibly fat ladybugs. They are so huge, I thought, maybe there is another insect that looks exactly like the Etta James of ladybugs, big, round, yet classy, and that is what these must be. But, no, after making inquiries after the rotund ladybugs of the OC Metro Farm of two Master Gardeners and several other non-Master of the Universe gardeners, the consensus is, “you have fat ladybugs”. “You are completely insane”, was heavily implied.

But, I exaggerate not. They are truly astounding. One hit me in the face on the roof and I thought, what the heck is that?! I looked down and a ladybug half again the size of any ladybug I’d ever seen was scoodling around on my borage. Holy Cow! And then, I saw another, and another. One came in on the root veggies we picked yesterday. It was running around on the Picasso cabinet, a kitchen cabinet with a Picasso painting on the front, looking much like an intimidating enforcer for some ladybug mafia don.

How do they get so big? Dare I hope they have been snacking at the endless aphid buffet on the kale? Aphid populations do seem to be on the decline. How do I keep them around? We have not had this many ladybugs in our garden since we bought a container of ladybugs from the OC Farm Supply pirates two months past. Do I need to worry about them flying off with a chicken or a rabbit? For now, I hope they will rid the microfarm of aphids and other nasty pests. Maybe these ladybugs are even large enough to deal with the cabbage loopers…one can dream, right?

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