Are you ready for a cool gardening tip that may have you seeing spots? It turns out that keeping live ladybugs in your fridge can be beneficial for both the ladybugs and your garden! 🐞❄️
You might be wondering why anyone would store these friendly, polka-dotted insects in the same place they keep their milk and leftovers. Well, there’s a few reasons that are actually pretty cool…
Yes, I get it, it may sound strange, but putting live ladybugs in the fridge is a common practice among gardeners and farmers.
Ladybugs are beneficial insects that can help control pests like aphids, mites, and whiteflies in gardens and on crops. But why do we need to put them in the fridge?
I’ve gathered the top reasons why you are supposed to put your ladybugs in the fridge and shared them with you below. Happy gardening!
How long can you refrigerate ladybugs?
Ladybugs can be stored in the fridge for 1-3 months as long as they are refrigerated at the right temperature. They will appear dead while refrigerated but will become active again as they warm up. Make sure your refrigerator is between 35° and 45° F. If it’s too cold, your ladybugs will freeze and if it’s too warm, they’ll start waking up.
When are the best months to release ladybugs outside?
The best months to release ladybugs outside in your garden is when temperatures are warm enough (usually past the last frost). So, traditionally, anytime in the Spring – Early Summer.
For the US, this would be anytime from the end of April/Early May to Early July (as long as temperatures are not scorching hot).
Also, always release the ladybugs in the evening.
Reasons Why You’re Supposed to Put Ladybugs in The Fridge
Preserving their energy
Ladybugs are natural predators of harmful pests like aphids, mites, and other soft-bodied insects. Keeping them in the refrigerator helps to slow down their metabolism and conserve their energy. This way, when you release them into your garden, they’ll be ready to feast on unwanted bugs and protect your plants. 🌿
Ladybugs are cold-blooded creatures, and cooler temperatures can help prolong their life expectancy. By keeping them in the fridge, you’re providing them with a more suitable environment compared to the hot, potentially dry conditions outdoors. This means they can continue to be beneficial to your garden for an extended period. 🌻
Better release timing
When you’re ready to introduce the ladybugs to your garden, it’s essential to do so during the evening or early morning hours when temperatures are cooler, and they are less likely to fly away. By storing them in the fridge, they’re already acclimated to the cooler temperatures and will be more likely to stay put and help your garden thrive. 🌱
It’s important to note that you should never freeze ladybugs, as this can harm or kill them. The ideal temperature for storing ladybugs is between 35-40°F (1.667-4.44°C).
Where to Buy Live Ladybugs
You can typically find containers of live ladybugs at your local plant nurseries, Lowe’s and Home Depot.
However, you can also order live ladybugs online on Amazon here.
But why bother with putting live ladybugs in the fridge at all? Can’t we just release them straight into the garden?
While it is possible to release ladybugs directly into the garden, putting them in the fridge can help ensure that they are well-rested and ready to get to work on controlling pests.
@simplisticallyliving Putting my ladybugs in the fridge! #ladybugs #ladybug🐞 #gardening #gardenhacks #gardenproject #ladybugraid ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim
So, the next time you find yourself with a container of live ladybugs, don’t be surprised if someone suggests keeping them in the fridge. They’re not trying to bug you; they’re just looking out for your garden and your polka-dotted friends! 🐞🌸
And remember, ladybugs, like many insects, are cold-blooded creatures that rely on the temperature of their environment to regulate their metabolism and activity levels.
When they are exposed to cold temperatures, their metabolism slows down, and they become less active. This is why putting live ladybugs in the fridge is a great way to keep them fresh and healthy before releasing them into the garden.
Always remember to handle these helpful insects with care and release them gently into your garden when the time is right. Happy gardening!