In this fun activity, you can watch ladybugs doing what they do best: eating aphids, harmful garden pests.
What You'll Need:
- Nylon mesh
- Pruning knife
Step 1: Capture a ladybug, and place it in an aquarium. Cover the aquarium with mesh. Find a plant that has aphids. (Look near the growing tip where aphids tend to congregate.)
Step 2: Have an adult use the pruning knife to cut a long section of a plant stem with aphids at the tip. Place the cut end into a cup of water, and put the cup and stem into the aquarium.
Step 3: Watch the ladybug. In time, it will approach and land on the stem. Watch it eating the aphids.
Step 4: Release the ladybug.
Have an adult use the pruning knife.
The aphids are attached near the tip because this new growth is a tender part of the plant. They insert their straw-like proboscises into the stem and suck nutrients from the plant. The ladybug lands on the stem and then travels toward the tip. On its way, it seizes and devours the aphids. Ladybugs are valuable because aphids can damage plants.
On the next page, you'll learn how to make bugs out of coffee cans.