What does the ladybug's head do?
It's the head of a moth, and its main function is to protect her eggs from the environment, making it a nice gift.
There are a lot of different insects with similar characteristics. So, which is the best?
I know there are two different species of ladybug in the US, but where do you keep them?
That will just make you sick.
I like to keep my ladybugs in glass boxes. The boxes, being made from plastic or glass, will not damage the ladybug's eggs.
What do you do with the boxes?
You simply place them out over a small window area where you are able to observe them during the day.
If, on the other hand, you need a light source to observe them during the day, they are better stored in an aquarium with a low- light bulb. Also, make sure to put some food or water inside, and watch out for predators.
I like to put plastic grocery bags in the boxes just to get a little bit more oxygen to the bugs.
What size are these boxes?
I prefer around 24″ for my boxes. The smaller boxes can be more difficult to keep, as they tend to be more difficult to get in/out of (or even find if you don't have light) .
The larger boxes just feel much better when they're open. How long do you leave them out before the bugs hatch?
A couple of weeks. Just to be safe you can leave them out for anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks, depending on the level of humidity you set up (and the temperature in the box if you do not have it set at an equal or a higher temperature than the boxes) .
After that, the ladybugs will lay their eggs and there is usually something else to eat in the house that you might need so you don't forget to feed them. Once you get them out of the boxes, I prefer to wash them before and after any light exposure, for their shiny, new shiny shells and new shiny head.
After that, give them a wash and air dryer cycle. In your home or the garage, I find it easier to keep a couple of large boxes to start. Since the ladybugs seem to get their own area in the house, it works for me.
Also, I try to keep the boxes at least 8′ tall, so I don't end up with the same number of boxes that I have to put elsewhere. Here is an example I keep with me in my apartment:
What kind of glass are you using for that glass box?
I've never tried a clear glass for the boxes, but I've heard it can be pretty effective.
That makes sense, because to avoid insect damage to the boxes, clear glass doesn't provide much in the way of light. The ladybug would rather be in complete darkness. Do you know of any good "natural" lighting sources, or do you rely on the sun and window light?
I have used a small solar collector, and that's a pretty good idea if you're in an apartment.
Also, I think a solar collector for your home will also act as a natural air conditioner in the winter. I also keep two "light boxes", each about 7 feet tall. One is a large box that can sit on the windowsill or outside the door (to make it look bigger) , and the other one is about the size of a coffee can.
I'd put a couple of tubes of a natural incandescent light bulb connected to a 12 volt cord connected into the box, and if you feel up for it, maybe use an incandescent from a house with an electric garage door opener.
Just keep in mind, that these bulbs tend to last a really long time in the weather. I've only had a few months in that size box, but the bulbs have worked out beautifully.