Luke is a type of ladybeetle (Chilocorus circumdatus) that feeds on a range of hard (armoured) scale. Adults are about 5mm long and bright orange but without any spots. Juveniles look like small caterpillars and are pale cream coloured with pronounced dark spines over their body. Both adults and juveniles feed on hard scale.
Supplied as 30 adults. Not for WA.
Luke is sent via Express Post and is usually received within 2-3 days. Order dispatch is planned to minimise transit time in Australia Post.
Hard (armoured) scale insects including:
- Red scale (Aonidiella aurantii)
- Oriental scale (Aonidiella orientalis)
- Oleander scale (Aspidiotus nerii)
- White louse scale, Citrus snow scale (Unaspis citri)
Luke should be ordered at the first sign of scale attack to minimise plant damage. Luke is able to control severe scale outbreaks but it will take time for him to eat his way through them all! Follow up orders can be made 3-6 weeks later if you want to speed things up. Alternatively you can spray with eco-oil first to reduce scale populations before ordering Luke. eco-oil is safe for Luke as is the rest of the eco-organic garden range. Do not order Luke if systemic pesticides have been used within 4-6 weeks as most are harmful to beneficial insects.
Luke is supplied in a small plastic container with some shredded paper and drops of honey for food during transit. Gently place the ladybeetles onto plant foliage near scale infestations. It’s best to release during calm weather as they will seek shelter during windy and stormy weather and may not return to the infested plants. Placing light netting over the plant for 24 hours is another way to encourage them to settle into the desired location.
Please note that Luke can be notoriously difficult to spot after releasing despite his bright colour. It will usually take a couple of weeks before juveniles appear and can be seen feeding.
One order of Luke will cover 20–50m² for an average scale infestation.
Adult Luke will also feed on pollen and nectar if scale numbers are low. Having a mix of flowering plants throughout the garden, like those in the Bed & Breakfast Seed Mix, is another way to encourage Luke to remain actively working in your garden.