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Adult Ladybirds - Adalia bipunctata (Supplied As Pupae)


What Are Aphids & How Do I Identify Them?

Aphid is a name for a large group of insects, many of which can cause serious damage to plants. They extract sap from plants causing a reduction in plant growth, reduced yields, and sometimes defoliation. Aphids can also secrete toxic substances into the plants. The Aphids take proteins from the sap and then excrete the excess sugar left in the sap back onto plants. This causes a sticky mess on the leaves, which black molds often grow on.

Aphids are soft bodied and often shed white skins onto leaves. Adult Aphids can be green, yellow, pink, black, grey or brown.

Ladybirds Now Supplied As Pupae To Protect Them In Transit

To help protect the Ladybirds on their journey to you we are now supplying them as pupae. This is the part of their life cycle just prior to them developing into adults. The pupae are more resilient to transport conditions which reduces the amount of potential fatalities during delivery. This might mean that not all of the Ladybirds have developed to adulthood when you receive and open your sachet. The first adults that do emerge after developing from pupae are paler in colour before developing their characteristic red and back markings. Enjoy watching them develop and begin feeding on Aphids!

What Are Ladybirds & How Can They Help?

These predators are native to the U.K. and are often referred to as the Two Spotted Ladybird (Adalia bipunctata). The Ladybirds, and their larvae, are highly efficient predators of Aphids (also known as Greenfly/Blackfly) and other insect pests.

During the winter months the Ladybirds will hibernate in window frames, walls, log piles or trees, and emerge to mate in the spring. The female Ladybirds will lay between 20-50 eggs per day. These eggs will develop into Ladybird larvae (which also feed on Aphids) and, after three weeks of feeding, will develop into adults. You can purchase our Ladybird larvae separately here.

Ladybirds will predominantly consume most species of Aphid, but will also feed on other soft-bodied pests. We would, however, advise use of more specific predators in tackling these pests, such as Spider Mites and Thrips. See our range of available predators for these two pests by clicking on the links attached to the two names.

Where Should I Apply The Ladybirds?

Adult Ladybirds are best suited for application onto Aphid infested plants in confined spaces such as greenhouses, conservatories and polytunnels. Adult Ladybirds can be released outdoors but are difficult to apply directly to specific infestations as they are winged and can fly away. Ladybird larvae, which are not winged at this stage of their life cycle, are easier to use for outdoor infestations, as the larvae will stay in one place.

What Conditions Do The Ladybirds Require?

Adult Ladybirds can be used in temperatures above 10℃ indoors or outdoors, with an optimum temperature being above 15℃. Ladybirds should only be introduced when pests are present.

When Should I Apply The Ladybirds?

For indoor use of the adult Ladybirds: they should be released from March to September.

For outdoor use of the adult Ladybirds: they should be released from May to September.

How Do I Apply The Ladybirds?

It is recommended that you release the adult Ladybirds in the morning or evening if applying indoors, or when windows and vents are closed for a few hours. 

Simply cut open the sachet and place sachet on near infected plant. Any developed adults will emerge from the sachet, some may still be pupae and might take 7 days to finish their development. In this case simply leave the sachet on the plant, allowing the pupae time to develop into adults and leave the sachet. The first adult Ladybirds that emerge will be pale in colour before they develop their more vibrant colour markings.

Full application instructions will also be provided on delivery.

How Many Ladybirds Do I Need?

As a general guide we advise applying the adult Ladybirds at a rate of 10 per square metre. This would equate to around 5 adults per medium sized plant. If you have a severe infestation of Aphids we would advise doubling this rate.  

What Is The Life Expectancy Of Ladybirds?

Adult Ladybirds can live for up to three years in the wild and grow to around 0.4 inches.

Chemical Pesticides 

Ladybirds are living creatures and can be affected by any chemical pesticides used within the previous few weeks. As a general guide, refrain from using Natural Pyrethrum or SB Plant Invigorator 2 days prior to use. Other chemical insecticides can have long lasting residues that could harm the Ladybirds and other predators for much longer periods. Refrain from using these products or check with Dragonfli for information on the effect of these products on our predators.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews Write a review

Customer Reviews

Based on 15 reviews

Most didn’t hatch

Hi there,

Thank you for your feedback and sincere apologies that you were dissatisfied with the product on this occasion.

Our Ladybirds are now supplied as pupae which might mean that they won't all have matured into adults on arrival with you. The first emerged adults are paler in colour before developing their characteristic red and black markings. In this Pupal stage they appear as hard brown cases and do not move. Over approximately 7 days they should emerge from these cases and turn into the distinctly familiar Ladybird adults.

If this transformation has still not occurred then unfortunately it is likely that they have sadly perished in transit. We do offer an 'Arrive Alive Guarantee' whereby customers that receive live product impaired by significant casualties in transit will be re-imbursed or have their order replaced. Please just contact our customer service team and they will get this resolved as soon as possible for you.

Kind regards,

Julian Ives [Director, Dragonfli]


Arrived very quickly

Greenfly fighting back

Unfortunately the ladybirds and Ladybird larvae arrived a day after I went away so a friend sorted them out. When I returned 5 days later there were no Ladybirds to be seen although the greenfly population had reduced. I saw about 3 larvae but again , I never saw any turn into ladybirds. The greenfly population is now increasing again so I am going to have another try! The greenfly are living on my large Bougainvillea in the conservatory

Hi there,

Many thanks for ordering with us and glad to know that the predators were applied appropriately on receipt by your friend.

It's also great to hear that the Ladybirds did achieve some successful predation and that you were able to identify some positive immediate results in terms of a reduction in Aphids/Greenfly. Ladybird adults do tend to fly off and fend for themselves in nature so we would advise to opt for Ladybird larvae if you are wishing to enjoy a targeted application for treatment of particular plants.

You should be able to witness the remarkable Ladybird life cycle transition in future as we are now supplying our Ladybird adults as pupae. They will transform into adults within a few days of receipt, although some may already transform in transit to you. Simply apply the remaining pupae to Aphid infested plants and keep an eye on their progress.

I hope you're able to keep taking the fight to the Aphids. Supplementing your predator numbers is always a good call and hopefully they'll soon overwhelm the Aphids plaguing your lovely Bougainvillea.

If you ever need any further assistance or advice please don't hesitate to contact us and we'll be happy to help.

Kind regards,

Julian Ives [Director, Dragonfli]




Excellent service. Great communication.