For my daughter’s sixth birthday we had a little party, and one of the presents was Pink Spotted Ladybug larvae (coleomegilla maculata)! Our oldest LOVES raising and releasing insects! After a week or two of observing their life cycle, we released our ladybugs on Easter Sunday.
Ten little ladybugs arrived in their larva state. They turned yellow in their pupa stage, and then went still as they became adults. One didn’t make it and one was released a few days after the others. My oldest enjoyed giving them water and soaked raisins as they molted and became adults.
Things we learned during this experience:
They really aren’t ladybugs, they are called ladybird beetles.
They will eat aphids, mites, and small caterpillars.
They can be found on the map from South Canada to South America.
They can be white, yellow, pink, orange, red and black.
And some species can have no spots!
It was better to release our ladybugs in the morning time, so after observing and feeding them for a week, we released them in the garden. My oldest decided to share the experience with her two year old sister, and together they released the ladybugs in my two year’s old garden box.
The girls ran back and forth to the garden all day and would find one or two ladybugs still crawling all around. Our Ladybug Land is all washed and cleaned and ready to raise some more.