The Magnificent Ladybug & Her Astounding Contribution
The Worth of a Ladybug
What makes this tiny, colorful beetle so valuable? Even though I did not really understand what ladybugs did to contribute so enormously in their unseen world that was very tiny and invisible to the eye of most humans, I was taught at a very young age that the ladybug was on an important mission. And that I must never kill a ladybug but always do whatever I could to protect them. In fact, I was taught their mission was so necessary that farmers, like my grandpa, even purchased these bugs with good, ol hard-earned cash!
Why, you may ask, is such a tiny insect so necessary? Well, it all eventually made sense to me as I got older that ladybugs are born with a great purpose and without them doing their part, much of the earths necessary, vital vegetation would just dry up and crumble away.
Ladybugs begin their existence munching and as they do, they clean our environment of unwanted pests in a natural, poison-free way. Ladybugs are even indirectly responsible for providing milk and meat, which we enjoy regularly as part of our diet. This may sound far-fetched and that I give way more credibility to a minuscule, colorful bug than it is due. But bear with me and allow me to explain why I believe this to be true.
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Dinner for the Ladybug
The ladybug survives by eating the damaging sap-sucker known as an aphid, which is the main part of her diet. Aphids, smaller than ladybugs, are pests that suck the very life out of plants. If left to multiply unchecked, aphids will destroy necessary crops which are grown to feed livestock. They attack mainly alfalfa hay, a crop grown all around the world to provide nutritious feed for cattle and other animals.
Without the ladybug doing her innate job, fields of alfalfa hay would be damaged resulting in reduced yields, lost crops, and a dwindled food supply for dairy cows and beef producing steers. Cut backs in food for cattle would also lead to less production of dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter; and less beef produced such as steak and hamburger. Therefore, the tiny little ladybug provides for us all by doing her assigned daily task, helping to keep grocery stores stocked with many foods we are accustomed to finding there.
Get Your Ladybugs Here
Revive your garden or farm with these little orange beetles that reduce and eliminate aphids daily.
A Unique Childhood Memory from Days on the Farm
Ladybugs exist to contribute positively to the environment. A ladybug's specific purpose provides a valuable commodity to the farmer, especially those who grow alfalfa hay for a living. So valuable, in fact that many alfalfa farmers actually buy ladybugs to accomplish a natural measure of pest control.
Living much of my younger years on my grandparents' 90-acre alfalfa farm, I learned plenty about aphids and methods to control them. One of the most fun methods arose when grandpa purchased thousands of ladybugs, which arrived in wooden crates all filled to the brim with ladybugs. These crates stacked upwards stood in a very tall stack. This lent to creating one of my most unique memories of growing up on the farm. I will never forget the night when we released all those ladybugs-setting them free to provide a much needed service. The recommended procedure for distributing the ladybugs was to let them go during the nighttime. Our family worked well into the night by the light of flashlights, setting free thousands and thousands of ladybugs to begin their mission. It probably would have been an even more amazing sight to watch in the daylight but what I saw was still extremely memorable with just a flashlight to shine on the masses of little ladybugs flying away from the confinement of their crates as they zoomed away into the hayfields.
Look out aphids! You're under attack! Here come the ladybugs with an enormous appetite, all ready to eat!
Did it Work?
With the evidence being in the quality of hay my grandparents produced, I would say, "Definitely!"
The hay grew lush and produced high yields of alfalfa. With this added to grandpa's meticulous methods of harvesting the hay, my grandparent's farm produced the most sought after hay in the valley. Buyers in the surrounding area came to grandpa first for their alfalfa needs. And grandpa's hay would always sell out first before all the other farmers in the valley, bringing a premium price for his ingenuity and efforts.
The hay, in turn, fed many cattle which then produced all the items related to beef and dairy.
Ladybugs offer a natural, pesticide-free way to balance nature in favor of the farmer.
A Few Benefactors of the Ladybug's Work
The Pretty Little Ladybug-a Tiny, Vital Insect
Have you ever bought ladybugs and set them free to eliminate the aphid population in your field or garden?
Munch, munch, . . .
With millions of ladybugs eating that many aphids daily, it has to positively impact the health of vegetation and produce higher yields. Therefore, the increase in alfalfa yield worldwide traceable to the ladybug, would have to be significant.
A Tiny Ladybug Eats an Even Tinier Aphid
Alfalfa is very nutritional for humans too and is often eaten as sprouts on a salad.
Alfalfa is . . . - Nutritious for Humans Too!
Grow your own nutritional salad treats with this organic alfalfa sprouter jar
Support Your Local Garden Ladybugs for Their Part in Preserving Our Foodchain
Decorate Your Garden with Ladybugs - So Your Ladybugs Feel at Home There
Pretty little ladybug art to lead the way through your garden & Welcome All Ladybugs
A ladybug light to lead the way by night
Ladybugs rid roses of aphids too!
Ladybugs all dressed in red
Strolling through the flowerbed.
If I were tiny just like you
I'd creep among the flowers too!— ~Maria Fleming
Ladybugs for Natural, Pesticide-Free Gardening
Would you buy ladybugs instead of pesticide to get rid of aphids?
Do You Agree that the Ladybug Indirectly Affects the Availability of Certain Foods?
Does the existence of Ladybugs indirectly make a difference in the production of some foods?
One More Fact About Ladybugs . . .
The spots on a Ladybug fade as they get older.