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Ladybugs Your Best Natural Pest Control

Updated on April 28, 2017

Safe to Use in Organic Gardening

Ladybugs, also known as lady beetles or ladybird beetles are beneficial in the garden by controlling pests without the use of pesticides. They feed mainly on aphids, alfalfa weevils, bean thrips, mealy bugs, mites, and other soft bodied insects and larvae. Ladybugs protect your plants and flowers from destruction by devouring these pesky culprits.

Lady beetles are safe to use in organic gardening. You don't have to worry about using toxic chemicals, which can be harmful to you and your family. Read on to learn more about using these helpful insects to control pests in your home garden.

Photo Credit: malley (Public Domain Image)

Lady Bugs Feast on Garden Pests - They Love Aphids!

Ladybug Eating - Photo Credit: diciu
Ladybug Eating - Photo Credit: diciu | Source

The most common pest in the garden is the aphid, a tiny insect that feeds upon the young leaves and stems of garden crops and ornamental plants. The destruction from aphids causes plant leaves to curl and dry out. Ladybugs feast upon colonies of aphids and are capable of eating up to 50 to 60 per day. Adults can survive on nectar and pollen for short periods, but they need a supply of aphids or other insects for egg production. They can lay up to 50 eggs per day that develop into larvae. The larvae can eat 10-50 aphids per day. In total, lady beetles can eat up to 5000 aphids during their lifetime.

Photo Credit: diciu

Encourage "Little Ladies" to Come to Your Garden - Create an Inviting Environment

Blue Cornflower - Photo Credit: realworkhard
Blue Cornflower - Photo Credit: realworkhard

You can encourage ladybugs to come to your garden by planting their favorite plants and flowers. Among their favorites are: alfalfa, angelica, anise, fennel, dill, cilantro, caraway, tansy, wild carrot and yarrow. They are also attracted to cosmos, coreopsis, lavender, marigold, scented geraniums and sunflowers. Besides providing nectar and pollen, these plants provide shelter for ladybugs. As long as your garden provides areas of shelter, plenty of aphids and water, "little ladies" will be attracted to your garden.

Photo Credit: realworkhard @Pixabay.com

Natural Pest Control

Using ladybugs as a natural defense against harmful garden pests is a positive step towards protecting the environment.

Populate Your Garden With Lady Beetles - Get Rid of Garden Pests Naturally

Ladybug - Photo Credit: Hans
Ladybug - Photo Credit: Hans

If you want to populate your garden quicker, you can purchase live lady beetles at home garden centers, through mail-order catalogs and online. The problem with importing the insects to the garden is keeping them from flying away when you open the container.

Ladybugs should be placed in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours before releasing them. It makes them lethargic, so they will move slower when released. Water the garden before releasing the ladybugs so they will have water to drink and it helps them stick to the leaves. Some packages of ladybugs include a nutritional supplement to spray on the leaves before releasing them.

Lady beetles travel in the sunlight, so release them in the evening after the sun goes down. This gives them time to settle in for the night and become acquainted with their new home. Be sure to read instructions enclosed in the package for best results.

Photo Credit: Hans

Ladybug Larvae Eating Aphids

Learn about using ladybugs in your garden.

Garden Home for "Little Ladies"

Gardening Girl - Photo Credit: beglib
Gardening Girl - Photo Credit: beglib

Photo Credit: beglib

Thank You So Much for Visiting!

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  • endamclarnon profile image

    Enda McLarnon 3 years ago from Belfast, Ireland

    Nice article on the lovely ladybug. My grandson loves them a lot.

  • WriterJanis2 profile image

    WriterJanis2 4 years ago

    I love ladybugs. I think they are so pretty.

  • Fufurinha47 profile image

    Beatriz 4 years ago from Portugal

    Ladybugs are beautiful :)

  • profile image

    anonymous 4 years ago

    Lovely lens - gives a feeling of peace!

  • profile image

    LaidBackGuy 4 years ago

    Great lens with great photos.

  • Bexley profile image
    Author

    Bexley 4 years ago

    @darkflowers: Thanks so much for your lovely comment! I appreciate you stopping by!

  • Bexley profile image
    Author

    Bexley 4 years ago

    @TipsForMoms: Ladybugs are cute and charming. Thanks for stopping by!

  • darkflowers profile image

    Anja Toetenel 4 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

    Lovely Lens, Bexley! Great information and amazing photos. Big thumbs up! Have a great day!

  • TipsForMoms profile image

    TipsForMoms 4 years ago

    Ladybugs are about the only insect that don't creep me out. LOL! They are so pretty and useful.

  • Bexley profile image
    Author

    Bexley 4 years ago

    @Namsak: Thanks so much for the compliment! I really appreciate your kindness.

  • profile image

    Namsak 4 years ago

    Very nice lens with some good photos and interesting info. Well done.

  • OhMe profile image

    Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

    We have a bad time with ladybugs in homes around here and they are hard to get rid of. Maybe we need to send them to our gardens. Enjoyed reading this and congrats on your purple star.

  • Bexley profile image
    Author

    Bexley 4 years ago

    @Elaine Chen: Thanks so much for the compliment. I really appreciate your kindness!

  • Elaine Chen profile image

    Elaine Chen 4 years ago

    this lens is content-rich with nice photos; worth a Purple Star :-)

  • Bexley profile image
    Author

    Bexley 4 years ago

    @Corrinna-Johnson: Ladybug pet rocks...what a great idea for indoor plants! My hoya plants would love pet rocks. Thanks for visiting!

  • Bexley profile image
    Author

    Bexley 4 years ago

    @AlleyCatLane: AlleyCatLane....thanks so much for stopping by.

  • profile image

    AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

    Congratulations on your purple star! Very nice lens.

  • Corrinna-Johnson profile image

    Corrinna Johnson 4 years ago from BC, Canada

    I love ladybugs! I always feel so blessed when I find one in my house. And you can never have too many ladybug pet rocks. I have a bunch that live in my indoor plants.

  • Bexley profile image
    Author

    Bexley 4 years ago

    @MarcStorm LM: Hello Marc! Glad you've had some ladybugs stopping by. Sending you good wishes for a wonderful garden this year. Thanks for visiting!

  • MarcStorm LM profile image

    MarcStorm LM 4 years ago

    Great lens! We're planning on getting a garden going this year and even in the Winter time we've already had some ladybugs stopping by our house. They're supposed to be good luck too! Thanks for the great read! Best Wishes!