Ladybugs vs. Aphids - need advice
I usually hang out in the hosta area, but I have a bug problem and I'd like an organic solution.
I have both whitefly and aphids on my Niobe clematis. This clematis is 9 years old, a reliable bloomer and looks great. This year the bugs set in just as it began blooming. I have a lot of yellow-spotted leaves and nearly every leaf has some little transparent/yellowish eggs on the underside.
I also noticed a few ladybugs and quite a few ladybug instars and larvae feeding on the aphids. My first inclination is to just leave everything alone and hope the ladybugs and their larvae will take care of the problem. However, the ladybugs are greatly outnumbered.
I'm wondering the following things:
1. What do ladybug eggs look like? Should I expect more instars from the eggs, or more aphids?
2. Do ladybugs eat whiteflies as well as aphids?
3. Should I go ahead and use insecticidal soap? Will it hurt the ladybugs?
As you can see, I need advice. I absolutely will not use poisons, so let's not go there. Any other suggestions you may have, I'll appreciate very much.