At the weekend whilst working in the garden I spotted several ladybirds – and moved each of them onto a rose I have that is totally infested with green fly. I regularly clean them off only to see as many again the following day. They just love the emerging new shoots – on a rose that has been rather slow to get going this year after I both moved it and re-potted it this spring.
All of the ladybirds remained on the plant for the next few days, despite horrible cool and wet autumnal-like weather with a very stiff breeze; they diligently worked away, chomping their way through my greenfly – I say my like I’d choose to actually own the greedy, promiscuous blighters.
I just went out to the bin and went over to monitor their progress – and was astonished to see that the rose was almost cleaned of greenfly – a handful of odd specimens remain – but the plant is as clean as it’s been all summer. I could actually see 2 of the ladybirds still munching away. I suspect the others might have fallen off, stuffed to bursting and moaning that they couldn’t possibly eat another single thing, not even a wafer thin mint! I imagine they’re lying in the leaf litter beneath the rose, clutching their stomachs.
I grabbed my ‘jewellery’ camera which was close by, as one of the ladybirds devoured a greenfly, seemingly almost half it’s own size, in a matter of seconds.
I love hover flies – we seem to get quite a lot of different species in the garden and they fascinate me to watch them – with their little flat ended tongues probing leaves for sap and their undercarriage that they drop and raise as they come to rest and take off – they never bother you or come into the house, just go quietly about their business. This little chap – and he was a little one – was working away on the sticky sap left behind by the greenfly – so they made a good team.
I wonder how much they charge and if they have any mates who want work?