Instructions for Ladybug Kits

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Congratulations, you are about to watch part of the incredible life cycle of a Ladybug! Expect the change from Larvae to Ladybug to take approximately 2-3 weeks.

Your Kit Contains
* Plastic tube with 5 Ladybug Larvae
* Plastic rearing dome Habitat
* Pipette to water the Ladybugs
* Bag with a few raisins for the adult Ladybugs

 

Changing from Larvae to Adult Ladybug
Your Ladybugs are ‘Pink Spotted Ladybugs’. Expect the change from Larvae to adult Ladybug to take approximately 2-3 weeks. This change is called ‘Metamorphosis.’

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Eggs:
Adult Ladybugs lay clusters of yellow oval shaped eggs on the underside of leaves. They lay the eggs near places where there is food like aphids for the newly hatched larvae to eat.
Larvae:
Ladybug Larvae look completely different than adult Ladybugs. They resemble little alligators. Larvae and Adults are predators and eat many pest insects like aphids and mites. They can eat up to 24 aphids in one day! Gardeners love to have them in their garden for natural pest control. Larvae will shed their skins, called ‘Molting’, several times as they get larger.

Pupae:
At normal room temperature the Larvae should take 7 to 14 days to grow large enough to make the fascinating change from Larvae to Pupae.  When they are ready to change the Larvae will attach themselves to an inside wall or floor of the Habitat. Their body will change into a Pupae. During the first day while their Pupae is forming it is very important that they are not disturbed and you must be very careful not to move or jiggle the Habitat.  This is the most vulnerable stage in the development of a Ladybug.

Adults:
Although, from the outside, the 5 days of the Pupae phase seems to be a time when nothing is happening, it is really a time of rapid change. Within the Pupae the old body parts of the Larvae are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called ‘Metamorphosis’, to become the beautiful parts that make up the Ladybug that will emerge. The freshly emerged adult Ladybug will look pale but after a few hours they will brighten. It can take up to 12 hours for their spots to appear.

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When Your Ladybug Larvae Arrive
The Larvae arrive in a plastic tube with some paper strips and granular Larvae food. The artificial Larvae food is enough for your Ladybug Larvae to become adult Ladybugs.
1)Open the top of the Habitat.
2)Add some water. Use the Pipette to put a few drops of water on the felt sponge located in the crater. Keep this sponge moist by adding a few drops of water to the sponge every other day for the entire time you have Ladybugs.
3)Add the Larvae. Gently shake the tube until the Larvae and food are in the Habitat. You can tap the tube if you need to help the Larvae to leave the tube.
4)Replace the top on the Habitat. There is plenty of air in the Habitat for your Ladybugs.
Important:  Keep your Habitat at room temperature (65° to 78°F) and out of direct sunlight.  Do not shake or tap on the Habitat, as this is stressful for the Ladybugs.

Feeding and Watering
We have included enough granular artificial Larvae food for the Larvae to grow into Ladybugs. After the Larvae have become adult Ladybugs, the adults like to eat raisins. We have included a few for you, but if you misplace them, any raisins will do.
Soak a raisin in water for around 5 minutes and then cut it in half. Add both halves to the Habitat. Give the Ladybugs 1 new raisin a week. If you find some aphids, you can add those to the Habitat as a special treat.
Keep the sponge moist by adding a few drops of water every other day. Make sure there is no standing water as it can drown the Ladybugs – the sponge should just be moist.

Releasing the Ladybugs
After observing the adult Ladybugs for a few days we recommend that you release them into their natural environment.  This way they can continue their normal life cycle and breed and lay the eggs that will become Larvae.  The Ladybugs are not likely to breed within the Habitat because they prefer plants for laying their eggs. Ladybugs live throughout North America so you can safely release them anywhere.  When temperatures are above 55°F it is safe to release the Ladybugs. Once released, the Ladybugs can often be seen for several days in the vicinity of their release.  If it is too chilly, you can keep them inside for their full lifespan of 2-3 weeks.

Most Common Questions:

Q: How long before I get my Ladybugs?
A: If your kit came with a certificate for Larvae, mail it or fax it to us per the instructions. Allow 2 weeks for them to arrive.

Q: Can I order Ladybugs during the winter?
A: Yes!  If it’s below 55°F outside, keep the Ladybugs in the Habitat for their full lifespan of 2 to 3 weeks instead of releasing them outside. We include some raisins for the adult Ladybugs to eat. Expect a shipping delay if it’s below freezing in your area.

Q: My Larvae aren’t moving. Are they dead?
A: Probably not, it may take a day before they decide to move. We guarantee 2 Larvae from each tube will develop into perfect Ladybugs, so don’t worry.

Q: Can I hold a Ladybug?
Yes. But be careful when opening the Habitat so that the others do not escape.

Q: How long before I have adult Ladybugs?
A: Approximately 2 – 3 weeks.

Q: How long will the adult Ladybugs live?
A: Around 2-3 weeks in the Habitat.

Q: When should I release my adult Ladybugs?
A: After observing the adult Ladybugs for a few days you can release them if the temperature is above 55°F.

Q: How do I clean my Habitat to reuse it?
A: Ladybugs produce a fluid that makes them taste bad to predators, and they will leave little spots of it in the Habitat. Just remove the base and rinse the plastic with warm tap water. Then you’re ready to raise some more!

Ready to Raise more Ladybugs?
Your Habitat is reusable and we have Ladybug refills. Save 10% on your reorder – just enter coupon/voucher code #112150000 when checking out online.  Visit us at www.NatureGifts.com or call us at 800-405-1497 when you are ready to experience the fun of rearing Ladybugs again.

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