Penn State Researchers Find Ladybug Scent Deters Aphids

Researchers at Penn State University published a study in Basic and Applied Ecology that found ladybug scent could deter aphids from feeding and reproducing. A team led by Sara Hermann in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences developed a novel pest management tool based on the chemical ecology of predator-prey interactions between ladybugs and aphids and obtained a provisional patent for the innovation. The scent of ladybugs can be commercially produced and diffused in the air around crop plants. In recent research, this reduced aphids’ preference for the plants, reduced the amount of time they fed, and reduced their populations by 25%.