In case you missed the first and second annual lady bug release, you can follow those posts. We have never had a serious aphid or spider mite problem and I like to feel our annual release of lady bugs is the reason why. Either way, great entertainment for the girls for a couple hours for a $6.00 bag of lady bugs.
Lady bugs sometimes naturally choose to wander from the location where you release them and may just take residence in your neighbors yard, so I have thought about releasing them in my neighbors yard so they will end up in mine. Fortunately there are a few tricks to help entice your lady bugs from leaving your garden.
Give them a nap. Before you release them put them in your refrigerator for at least a couple hours. This will make them go asleep (dormant) until you are ready to release them. This way when you bring them outside in their sleepy stupor they may be more inclined to check out your garden before heading over your neighbors.
Feed them. After watering your garden before releasing them spray the ground with some sugar water. This will entice them to feast on that while waiting for a the aphids and spider mites to show up.
Choose the right time. Put your lady bugs out as the sun is falling and ensure that they are shaded from sun when releasing. This will prevent them from hiding from the hot sun and possibly finding a new place to make home.
Encourage your neighbors to have their own lady bug releases. One of our friends and neighbors had a great time with their girls releasing lady bugs last year and fortunately they are close enough that we may be sharing some bugs from both of our releases.
In the past I have had good results with the releases maybe seeing 30-40 lady bugs still crawling around on my plants the next day. This year had great results with hundreds of lady bugs in my aphid killing army.