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This is a bit of an odd request - does anyone know where we can purchase live ladybirds? :? We have a dwarf cherry tree that is seriously overrun with aphids! I don't want to use pesticides (right next to chicken run) and looking it up seems the best natural thing is ladybirds. We had loads a few years ago but none this year. Any help gratefully received! :D

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I don't think I've ever seen them for sale ... Wiggly Wigglers sell most things, take a look herefor their 'grow your own' nematodes.


I usually spray aphids with soapy water (just washing-up liquid and water in a hand sprayer), the soap allows the water to penetrate their 'skin' and kills them, or you could just use a hose on a light spray and wash them off.


Otherwise you should be ok in a few weeks, wasps eat aphids ... :lol:

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According to Monty Don on Gardeners' World you shouldn't spray anything with soapy water as it kills all flying things including bees....I was horrified when I saw it as I have done just that in the past. :(

Hose them off is what he says.


I can see that this would be true for all insects, because it works by penetrating the cells of the exoskeleton - however, I only ever spray it directly on to aphids, and the soapy water drips off very quickly to the ground. Aphids also tend to collect on stems/leaves, whereas bees will be going directly to the flowers - I'm as keen to preserve bees as anyone, but I think I'll continue using it in these limited circumstances on individual plants, such as roses, or runner beans - I certainly wouldn't advocate wholesale spraying, e.g. on a tree, so you're right to point this out. To be honest if it's a small amount of aphids I usually just rub them off with my fingers, it can get a bit sticky though!

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a small amount of aphids I usually just rub them off with my fingers



I seem to get away lightly.....they just get my pansies


I had whitefly traps in the greenhouse till I found a baby wren spreadeagled on one so the place is just full of companion plants now....so far so good!

Now, sawfly.........I could go on forever!

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