Ladybugs, the little round red color bug with black spots, oh, who cannot identify ladybug? We all have known it from childhood days!
They are the most desired beneficial insects gardeners love in their gardens. They also go by the names of Lady beetles or ladybird beetle.
Why do we want them in our gardens? They eat generously on pests found in flowerbeds and vegetable gardens yet never harm the plants. And the hatchlings of ladybugs are hungrier than the grown-ups.
Don’t think they will cure every bug problem. The ladybug will control and get rid of aphids organically.
They lunch on aphids, mealybugs, tiny spider mites, scale bugs of all types, thrips, aphid lions, whiteflies, larvae, and other insects. Most of these pests eat the leaves of your garden plants leading to defoliation.
Incorrectly called a bug, when actually they are beetles. The lady beetle is also known in Europe as the “ladybird beetle.”
Legend tells us lady beetle was named after the Virgin Mary in the Middle Ages.
Today lady beetles are local to all parts of North America with around 400 distinct species with 98 of them living in Florida alongside retirees and different sweethearts of daylight.
Around the world, entomologists have distinguished somewhere in the range of 4,500 species of these insects.
Ladybugs As Species
With so many species, you’ll find lady beetles come in numerous shapes and sizes. Typically when we think of a “ladybug,” we picture a red-orange insect with dark black spots.
Be that as it may, the number of spots may change as they may even look more smudged than spot-like, and some have stripes rather than spots.
Some, are more yellow than red-orange, others dark without spots and some are black with dark spots. What they all have in common is their hatchlings are all “croc-like” and have three sets of legs.
Related: Will Neem Oil Kill Lady Bugs – Is It Safe?
How Lady Beetles Become Useful In Gardens
The gainful types of ladybug beetles eat aphids, chinch bugs, asparagus creepy crawly hatchlings, horse feed weevils, bean thrips, grape rootworm, Colorado potato bugs hatchlings, arachnid parasites, whiteflies, mealybugs, among different bugs.
For instance, two species – Harmonia axyridis and Hippodamia convergens – prey on aphids.
A solitary adult ladybug preys as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime. Apart from being useful, their help comes cheaper.
Ladybugs are a modest answer for warring on patio/nursery bugs and are less expensive than compound pesticides.
These insects likewise won’t hurt individuals, plants, or pets. At long last, they are likewise a “self-reestablishing” type of bug or insect pest control.
You can buy lady beetles to control garden bugs.
Cultivators can utilize ladybugs in a few diverse ways.
Manipulative natural control includes utilizing the local populace of ladybugs and doing what’s important to exploit them.
Augmentative organic gardening control implies enlarging the local populace by adding to it with acquired ladybugs.
Traditional or inoculative natural control implies that lady beetles not effectively present are discharged in trusts they will set up a populace and can serve as a bug control.
How To Attract Lady Bugs Naturally
The main thing that will draw ladybugs to your garden is their food. Ladybugs eat two things: insects and pollens. They require both to survive and when these things are in wealth, ladybugs will joyfully move to your patio/nursery.
There are a few pollen plants that ladybugs like. The blooms on these plants typically are level blooms (like landing cushions) and have a tendency to be white or yellow. Blooms that pull in ladybugs include:
- Calendua flowers
- Cosmos plants (aka Cosmos bipinnatus)
- Coriander or Coriandrum sativum
- Flowering Marigold plants
- Queen Anne Lace – Daucus Carota
- Sweet Alyssum
- Tansy or Tanacetum vulgare
- Parsley or Petroselinum crispum
- Fern-leaf Yarrow or Achillea filipendulina
The other portion of inspiring ladybugs to go to your nursery is to ensure they have enough bugs to eat.
While it might appear to be counterproductive, allowing aphids and different insects to sit unbothered will help with drawing in ladybugs.
It might be useful to plant bait plants that will draw in and give aphids while you keep your coveted plants bug-free until the ladybugs come to do it for you.
Plants that can be utilized as aphid-drawing include:
- Early cabbage
- Radish, etc.
Something else you can do to convey lady beetles to the greenery enclosure is to dispense with the utilization of bug sprays.
Bug sprays will execute ladybugs the same as they will kill destructive bugs. Setting plates of water for ladybugs to drink out will likewise pull in ladybugs. You can likewise fabricate ladybug houses to give sanctuary to your ladybugs.
Our Recommended Natural Pest Control Solutions For the Home and Garden
- Neem Oil Plant Insecticide – Details on Neem Oil Pest Spray
- Diatomaceous Earth – Food Grade – More on using DE here
- Bacillus thuringiensis Bt
- Insecticidal soap
- Beneficial Insects – Ladybugs, Predatory Mites, and Green Lacewing
For more info on these recommended products, read our detailed review here.
How To Purchase Ladybugs?
The adequacy of purchasing ladybugs from a nursery or online and discharging them into your greenhouse to bolster and breed is very questionable.
Numerous entomologists have noticed that once discharged, most ladybugs will move right out of your patio/nursery before settling down to eat and multiply.
It is very likely that your neighbors may advantage more from the ladybugs you buy than you will. So, here is how to tackle this problem,
- Make sure you buy ladybugs that are native to your area.
- Ask your garden shop owner to explain how he got the batch and from where.
- You need not pay huge for acquiring ladybugs just less than $10 will get you around 1600 ladybugs.
How To Keep Your Purchased Ladybugs In Your Garden
Now that you have purchased your bag of ladybugs to help your plants, you should definitely know how to keep them in your garden and then make them migrate to your neighbors!
Here are a few steps which you can take for making them settle down in your garden.
- Always release your lady beetles in the late evening, that’s the time when they rest and will have natural dew to drink.
- Start only 100 ladybugs for 1000 SQ foot of the garden. They need to have abundant food to feed on.
- Release lady beetles only there is food for them to feed on in your garden. There is no point in releasing ladybugs in a garden where there are no insects like aphids to feed on and obviously they migrate!
- Always choose an aphid infected plant or any flowering plant as a releasing spot for ladybugs. So that they easily know that they have abundant food access which makes them settle down.
With the above-mentioned tips and tricks, you can have a garden full of ladybugs and happy plants to enjoy!