Ladybugs eat aphids and other soft-bodied insects and they're cute too! We really enjoy just seeing them wandering around in our greenhouses looking for something to eat.
The Pest: Aphids
First Sign: Wilted-looking plants that aren't thriving. Looking closer, dense colonies of tiny (1/32" - 1/8") soft bodied, pear-shaped insects are seen, expecially on tender growing tips and undersides. Young Aphids look like miniature adults. And the whole family will be found feeding together.
Species Identification: Aphids come in almost every color. They can be green, yellow, pink, brown, black or any shade in between. To be certain of an Aphid diagnosis, use a magnifier to find the pair of tiny "dual exhaust pipes" on their posteriors. These are properly termed "cornicles" and Aphids are the only insects that have them.
The Good Bugs: Ladybugs
Typically, Ladybugs (Hippodamia convergens) eat over 5,000 Aphids and other soft-bodied pests during their one-year lifetime. Ladybugs are one of the few beneficial insects that can be stored, dormant, in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks, depending on the time of year, as long as they don't freeze or dry out. This allows you to use a few at a time, as needed.