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Original Ladybug Land with Live Larvae Review by Audrey Tolle

Insect Lore
1-800-548-3284
132 S. Beech Ave.
Shafter, CA 93263
http://www.insectlore.com

What is even cooler than finding ladybugs in your backyard and observing them until they fly away? Having the chance to watch them grow from tiny larvae! With the Original Ladybug Land by Insect Lore, we got to observe them constantly until they grew into ladybugs and we set them free. Our family truly enjoys these types of hands-on experiences and have been impressed with similar life-cycle kits in the past. We were excited for our next opportunity to observe a lifecycle of one of God’s amazing creatures.

Our ladybugs arrived on a hot summer day. After transferring the larvae into the habitat, we waited 24 hours or so to see if we saw any movement and never saw any. Unfortunately, the larvae hadn’t survived the heat; however, Insect Lore was very accommodating and sent us a new tube of larvae immediately.

The “Ladybug Land” that is included in the kit is a plastic dome structure with a small opening on top that doubles as a magnifying glass. To transfer the tube of larvae into the dome, you must tilt the tube and dome so that the contents of the tube (food and larvae) do not land in the sponge area that is meant for water. Unfortunately, even with our best effort, we ended up with food in the water sponge. We needed to clean it out immediately to avoid rot and mold, which will harm the larvae (and stink too!). Since that was the food that the larvae were supposed to survive on, we had to do a little quick research and decided to add half of a couple of grapes to the habitat, which the larvae loved. Our only other challenge with the habitat itself was where the bottom of the habitat and the dome connect. It forms a crease all around, and we had several of our larvae die getting trapped in the crease. Other than some minor design flaws, everything else was relatively seamless.

Overall, Insect Lore guarantees that five ladybugs will survive, and five ladybugs is what we got. It was a joyful experience to get to see the larvae grow, then rest, then transform into ladybugs and develop color and spots. We observed the adults for about a day before setting them free. We will definitely be ordering more larvae in the future to do this ladybug lifecycle experience again. I recommend the Original Ladybug Land to any homeschool family who is studying insects or lifecycles. It is so much more fun to see it firsthand than to read about in a book.

-Product review by Audrey Tolle, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2017

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