I am a science coach with our school district and our first graders are going to be raising and caring for ladybugs in the classroom. We need to know what to feed them other than aphids? Hopefully we can find a food that is "classroom friendly". Can you help?
Pam from Midland, TX
You'll need to do your research; but I believe they can eat jam/jelly. I don't think the adults eat aphids, I believe it is the immature ladybugs, although the adults are drawn in by the honeydew the aphids produce and....well, nature takes its course.....and the larval ladybugs clean up the aphids. If you are ordering the ladybugs from a supplier, they ought to be able to help you with feeding, etc.
I did a little research, and the adults do eat aphids, and what I found suggests you keep adults in captivity no more than several days, (they suggest feeding honey water), since their nutrition will not be adequate. If you are purchasing from a supplier that regularly supplies schools, they may be able to offer a more complete diet. Good Luck.
Here is a website for keeping pet ladybugs and their diet which raisins and bananas and other sweet non acidic fruits are recommended with a moistened paper towel kept sprayed with water for them to drink.
Here is the website I found: http://www.ladybuglady.com/LadybugsFAQ.htm
Sounds like fun! ( I keep crickets). :)
Raisons or honey to eat. Put some water on a coton ball or tissue paper to drink. Put them in a small container or jar and put some soil at the botom with grass over it (this is optional). Change the food every 2 days and the water every week. Hope that helps! Good luck!