Have a problem with aphids in your garden? Support the SOKS Annual Ladybug Fundraiswer! Visit us on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Kelowna Farmers' and Crafters' Market or order from our office by calling (250) 763-4427
"Aphids wait for no one while ladybugs take
their own sweet time"
Our fundraiser runs each spring from May until the end of June or beginning of July. Support us at the Kelowna Farmers' and Crafters' Market
Science Opportunities for Kids sells ladybugs each spring as a fundraiser for our summer programs. Ladybugs come to us in batches of 35 000 and the SOKS Ladybug Wranglers spend many long hours brushing the little guys and gals into smaller batches with raffia, moisture and breathing holes. Ladybugs are an excellent alternative to sprays for controlling aphids in your garden and flowers. Aphids tend to attack roses, tomato and other fruit and vegetable bushes, fruit trees and other plants.
If you are interested, please call us at: 763-4427 or
Only Central Okanagan residents can purchase our lady beetles, as we will not ship them out. Ladybugs can be picked up at the Farmers' and Crafters'Market or from the office.
We sell ladybugs in batches of 250 or 500
Read on to find out some more about these cute little beetles.
Some Entomology Stuff on Ladybugs
The different names given to ladybugs are almost as numerous as the number of species. Depending on where you are in the world, you may call them ladybugs (although they are not really bugs), lady beetles (they are technically beetles), lady birds or in Germany you would say "Marienkafer" (Mary's beetles). In North America, there are over 350 species of ladybugs, and over 4000 around the world. Most species can be identified by the pattern of spots on their elytra (flight wing covers).
Lady beetles are members of the beetle family Coccinellidae, which means "little sphere." In their life cycle, a lady beetle will go through egg, larval, pupal and adult stages. Lady beetles favorite food is the notorious aphid (its likely out there destroying your rose bushes as we speak). A female lady bug has huge appetite, eating from 75-100 aphids per day, while the male eats about 40 per day. Most lady beetles are predators, but a few are plant eaters, and can be crop pests.
Lady beetles have some surprisingly innovative ways of protecting themselves. First of all is their colouring. Most predators know that bright colorings mean that their victim would likely taste gross and may even sting them. While the lady beetles don't sting, we bet that they don't taste very good. Lady beetles also produce a pungent smelling odor when threatened or may just play dead. As well, the lady beetle larvae is kind of alligator looking, so not many predators will not mess with it.
Habitat for lady beetles is as diverse as they are. They may live in shrubs, fields, trees, logs, and even in your living room!!
Lady Beetle Links
For General Interest:
University of Kentucky Department of Entomology
A description of Asian Lady Beetle habits as well as lady beetle management techniques
Agriculture Research Service
USDA - ARS offers information on the Asian Lady Beetle including a homeowner’s fact sheet and instructions for an indoor blacklight trap that captures beetles in the home
Iowa State University Department of Entomology
Real-life images of Lady Beetles
For Kids and Teachers:
A fun page with lots of neat facts including ladybug's diet, anatomy, life cycle and habitat and a print-out to read and color. Also includes ladybug crafts and activities.