|Dahlia covered in powdery mildew (not very pretty!)|
While pruning I noticed these little insects all over the leaves that looked like tiny lady bug larvae. However they were white and not the typical black and orange. Since lady bugs are good, I was conservative with my pruning. A couple days later I noticed that the powdery mildew was disappearing and the larvae were clustering around the worst of the powdery mildew. I was shocked. I googled around and found that there are many different kinds of lady bugs and some eat fungus. I couldn't believe it, I had never heard of such a thing before. It took awhile to find out what type we have, but I'm pretty sure it's a tiny lady bug called the twenty-spotted lady bug (Psyllobora vigintimaculata).
|You can see the adult twenty-spotted ladybug in the lower left corner.|
I'm so amazed by these little guys. It's a miracle how the powdery mildew has diminished significantly. We even moved some of the larvae onto our squash plants to see if they'll help control the powdery mildew there. We definitely have plenty of it for them to eat. Now I if can only get some regular lady bug larvae to help control the black aphids around here.