Syrphid fly larvae & Ladybug larvae are garden helpers

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Did you know that the larvae of beneficial insects look a whole lot like pests? Learn to recognize and protect garden allies like syrphid fly larvae and ladybug larvae from egg through to adulthood. These helpful garden insects love to devour aphids and other soft-bodied insect pests!

Syrphid fly larvae (looks like a caterpillar) and ladybug larvae (looks like an orange and black alligator) hatch and should be protected each spring (if you see these beneficial insects, don’t spray them!). Syrphid fly larvae prey on aphids, scale, thrips, and other soft-bodied insects. They’re incredibly effective at destroying hundreds of aphids during their development. Unlike caterpillars, syrphid fly larvae don’t have legs (a good clue for identifying them. They are often found on rose bushes.

Ladybug larvae are shaped like small beige alligators. They eat many times more insect pests than adult Ladybugs. They’ve been known to gobble up as many as 50 aphids a day! Ladybugs are not pests in any of these stages.

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