Love Those Ladybugs!

Ladybugs, ladybirds, ladybeetles…whatever you call them, they are, on the whole, one of the most beneficial species of insects ever to grace a garden.  The ladybug families, Coccinellids, are found worldwide.  So far over 5,000 species have been described and more than 450 are native to North America alone.

With few exceptions they are welcome friends who feed on harmful insect pests.  Native species of ladybugs (coccinellids) are typically considered harmless.  But, there is an introduced species of multicolored Asian lady beetle that has become a pest in North America and Europe.  They seek indoor places to rest in the winter, becoming a nuisance in the human house.

Ladybugs are voracious eaters.  They feast on aphids and whiteflies, mites and scale.  Now we are talking about the adult, larva and pupa stages, so throughout their entire lifecycle they are ridding your garden of pests. Isn't that amazing?

Attracting Ladybugs to Your Garden 

To attract ladybugs to your garden is easy.  As a first step, of course you will want to avoid pesticide use.  Providing ladybug houses is a wonderful way to encourage residence in your garden.  A ladybug house will provide shelter during the winter and a safe place to for the ladybug to lay her eggs and the young to go through metamorphosis. 

There is also a product called Wheast, which is , a combination of whey and yeast.  If you spray it on your plants it will attract ladybugs., may be sprayed on plants to attract ladybugs.

Ladybugs do have some favorite flowers, too.  If you plant a few of their favorite flowers you will attract more ladybug helpers to your garden.

Ladybugs prefer cup shaped flowers.  Blue and yellow seem to be preferred colors for ladybugs.  And it’s not just flowers that will attract ladybugs.  Several herbs such as dill and fennel have an aroma that ladybugs love.

Check out the next article to find flowers and herbs that attract ladybugs.

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