Sweet baby ladies

Amateur Gardening - - Ask John Negus -

What are these lit­tle bugs – are they friend or foe? They are on win­ter-flow­er­ing chrysan­the­mums and my le­mon tree. Anthea Bick­ley, via email

Each is the lar­val stage of a la­dy­bird – and they are good­ies! There are 53 species res­i­dent in Bri­tain and all are ben­e­fi­cial, con­sum­ing large num­bers of green­fly, blackfly and other aphids.

In­ter­est­ingly, the com­monly seen seven-spot and spot-spot la­dy­birds are avid aphid eaters and should be en­cour­aged. The best way is to in­stall a bug ho­tel in a shel­tered part of the gar­den.

La­dy­bird lar­vae eat aphids

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