WINTER OF 2017
Why no one is selling ladybugs at this time Usually at this time of year there is an abundance of ladybugs
but not this year. There was the beginning of a shortage late in June before the wildfires began. It was a bit
harder to find bugs to harvest but it wasn't severe enough to limit sales. Then came the wildfires. 95% of the ladybugs
sold come from California and California has suffered from drought conditions which along with overharvesting by a few greedy
wholesalers has caused the shortage, add to that the many thousands of forest acreage destroyed by the fires and the shortage
has become bad enough that almost every place that was selling ladybugs is no longer selling them. Even the wholesalers are
out or have raised their prices so much the ladybugs are not affordable at this time. I have
seen them advertised for as high as $125.00 for 1500. Word right now is there should be more bugs available towards
the end of October. That is when , in the past, ladybugs were harvested to last through the winter until the spring
harvest in March or April. Myself, I don't see the logic in that, if there are no bugs to harvest now, what is going
to change in October? Wait and see I guess.
It is my observation that by mid March there will be very few ladybugs available.
Ladybugs have in the past left on their migration no earlier than March 1, this season it seems they have already gone.
This could be just a local thing due to the fires but all indicators are telling me they are gone. This means sellers will
be relying on whatever stock they have on hand which I believe is minimal because the harvesting that is normally being done
for spring should be going on now until March. No bugs = no harvesting. Those who depend on ladybugs for pest control
should consider getting what they are able to now and try to store them until needed. Also think about praying mantids
as they are very effective.