If you want a thriving garden like I do then ladybugs can play an integral role in keeping that garden healthy and pest free. The little ladybug, of which there are nearly 5,000 species in North America are possibly one of the most beneficial insects for your garden.
Ladybugs typically live for about 1-year and go through four stages in their development from egg, to larvae, to pupae, to adult. During that short life they can consume around 4,000 or more pests in your garden which is incredible for these little beauties.
Here are six benefits of ladybugs you should consider getting their assistance with if you have a garden that needs some help.
Your flowers and fruits rely on pollinators and ladybugs are great at this since, in addition to pests, they also feed on nectar and pollen during times when no pests are present or when they are hibernating in the winter.
Quite possibly the favorite meal of a ladybug is aphids. The have an almost insatiable appetite for this little pest that destroy gardens across the continent. If you purchase ladybugs mist the leaves of the plants that have aphids with some water and release the lady bugs at the base of the plants at dusk or early morning. If you release them during the day they will simply fly away.
Ladybugs will decimate your spider mites if your garden struggles with this pest with each ladybug eating up to 100 mites in a day! The ladybug is truly the seek and destroy weapon of choice for the spider mite.
Adult ladybugs will lay their eggs in clusters of up to 300 and one of their favorite places to lay the eggs is in the middle of a mealybug colony. When the larvae hatch they indulge in days worth of mealybugs who won’t know what hit them as a swarm of 300 ladybug larvae appear out of seemingly nowhere.
Do you like lace bugs? Me neither. These little buggers feed on the underside of leaves by sucking fluids from the plant. This causes pale stippling and bleaching that can become very obvious on the upper leaf surface by mid to late summer. Fortunately for us, ladybugs like lace bugs, or at least the taste of them. They will feast on both the adults and nymphs all day.
There are more pests that certain ladybug species can be helpful with, but let’s not forget the joy of having that beautiful red and black little bug in our gardens. Children are enamored with them and they bring a brightness and cheer to our gardens.
If you haven’t considered adding ladybugs to your garden for some of these benefits there are places where you can buy ladybugs online or at local garden centers. Rather than going the route of pesticides think first of whether a natural predator might be a better option. The ladybug is just one such option that we can all appreciate.
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I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.