Ladybugs are a Natural (and Colorful) Approach to Pest Control in the Garden
Release ladybugs in your garden so the real pests bug off
Ya' just gotta love the ladies. They're cute, colorful, and pack a huge appetite for aphids and other garden pests.
I recently opted to buy a container of ladybugs at my local nursery (about ) and take the au natural route in my rosebush $8-$11 for one containerpest control efforts. Last year I used a pesticide and have been feeling blue about my lack of green consciousness ever since.
What to Expect
Ladybugs will usually stay snug as a bug in a pest-covered rug ... as long as there is food.
It's possible these lady killers were mating in the container at the nursery before their release (there's not much else to do in there), so they may lay eggs in your garden — your backyard will soon transform into a whole different kind of nursery: a nurturing home for baby ladybugs (which look like tiny black alligators with red spots).
What really makes me go gaga for these ladies is that they're totally safe for humans and animals (just not to aphids and other garden pests). Plus, they will help keep your garden beautiful.
Follow these tips (ranging from "expert" to "duh") for releasing ladybugs:
- Don't shake the container. It's not a maraca.
- According to Nature's Control keep the container refrigerated until ready for release.
- Make it a family affair. The kiddos will love opening the container and seeing all the ladybugs fluttering about.
- Wait until the sun is setting or completely set. The ladybugs will be more likely to settle in for the night and call your garden home.
- Before you release them, spray down your plants so there are drops of water to keep them hydrated.
- Open the lid and let the ladybugs find their way out. Don't be surprised if some simply fly away (remember the fleeting baby spiders at the end of the book "Charlotte's Web?"). Others will stick around and get their grub on.
- It's normal to find some dead ladybugs inside the container. That's the circle of life ...
Fun facts about ladybugs
A girl's gotta eat, right?
Ladybugs can consume up to 50 to 60 aphids per day (up to 5,000 aphids in its lifetime) but will also eat other insects and larvae including scales, mealy bugs, leaf hoppers, mites, and some soft-bodied insects.
– According to Garden Insects
Luck be a lady (bug)
In many cultures lady bugs are considered to bring good fortune and prosperity. Looks like you found a good luck charm!
Plant these herbs and flowers in your garden to attract ladybugs: fennel, dill, cilantro, caraway, yarrow, cosmos, geranium and dandelions.
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