Biological warfare: unleashing the hounds

Seriously, aside from grapefruit sized mosquitos, is there a more annoying insect than the common aphid? These voracious pests can decimate an entire collection of plants, seemingly overnight, leaving the innocent gardener more melodramatic and distraught than Mel Gibson’s Gladiator.

This was me in May. And let me tell you, I was pissed. worse, the malevolent critters were only attacking the newest growth, so even if I went out twice a week with a spray bottle of hot pepper sauce, they’d be back and munching away again before I noticed it.

I realized at that point I had two options: bomb the yard with the strongest DDT I could find, or unleash my own legion of high predators (um, mantiples with mandiples?) to keep the aphid population under control.

Enter Amazon. Hello, ladybuds.

The Amazon ladybugs arrived hungry… and, well, a bit randy.

One really does unleash these things. I refrigerated the box to calm them down a bit — then went outside, snipped open the bag, and walked around distributing my new soldiers across the battlefield. They clearly arrived hungry, and literally wasted no time siezing the nasty aphids and making a quick meal of them.

Interestingly, they also arrived something else, and began spontaneously arranging themselves into groups for a series of perverse acts… which did, at least, make for another generation of fighters. A highly effective tool for the organic gardener.