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Are Ladybugs Good for the Garden?

Ladybugs are great allies in the gardens that will undoubtedly help to keep control those insects, such as aphids, which at a certain time can be a problem for the garden. In this article, I will explain everything you need to know about ladybugs to protect your garden naturally. Continue reading to find out if Are ladybugs good for the garden?

Ladybugs are also known as Ladybirds in the UK or Lady beetle. In this article, we will talk about ladybugs that are beneficial to the garden and not about the invasive ladybug Harmonia axyridis. If you ever hear someone, tell you that ladybugs are not beneficial to the garden, they are referring to the invasive species Harmonia axyridis.

Why Are Ladybugs Good for the Garden?

Why Are Ladybugs Good for the Garden? Ladybugs feed on unwanted insects in the garden, both as larvae and adults. A ladybug larva is capable of eating between 300 and 400 aphids before becoming a pupa. Adults are also large predators, requiring a lot of energy for egg-laying, so they need about 200-500 medium-sized aphids to have energy for the first clutch.

Although it may come to mind that ladybugs are round, red, and with black dots, the truth is that about 5,000 species have been discovered around the world in yellow or orange, with different patterns of dots but, yes, all black.

Two of the varieties of ladybugs most appreciated by farmers and gardeners for the maintenance of their fields and farms are the Adalia Bipunctata or two-spotted ladybug and the Coccinella septempunctata or seven-spotted ladybug.

Are ladybugs good for the garden? As I mentioned recently ladybugs are beneficial to the garden because they feed on insects that damage plants. Ladybugs do not feed on plants, so they will not harm any plants in your garden.

why are ladybugs good for the garden
In the image, you can see a ladybug feeding on aphids.

Ladybugs for Garden Pest Control

Ladybugs are beneficial insects that feed on other insects that can damage the garden, such as aphids. They can also help control other pest problems, such as whiteflies.

To have ladybugs in the garden as biological pest control you can buy live ladybugs. There are many stores where you can currently get ladybugs.

Alternatively, you can also plant different plants that attract ladybugs so that they will come to your garden on their own. Continue reading to find out how to attract ladybugs to the garden.

How To Attract Ladybugs to The Garden

How To Attract Ladybugs to The Garden? One of the best ways to get rid of some garden pests in an environmentally friendly way is to attract to the garden the amazing and gluttonous ladybugs, which not only feed on aphids but can also prey on other small pests.

They are usually the gardener’s or farmer’s favorite insects, eating aphids, scales, eggs, and other soft-bodied pests. During their life cycle, it is estimated that they can eat up to 5 thousand prey, which is why they are important in ecological control.

This is the list of plants and flowers that attract ladybugs to the garden:

  • Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • Marigold (Calendula officinale)
  • Tormentil (Potentilla erecta)
  • Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
  • Geranium
  • Mint (Mentha)
  • Mulberries (Morus)
  • Garlic (Allium sativum)
  • Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
  • Dill (Anethum graveolens)

Also, to complement these plants and if you put them near a ladybug house or an insect hotel you will get them to stay in the garden and help fight aphids. In addition, if the ladybugs lay eggs, the larvae devour much more aphids than the adults.

how to attract ladybugs to the garden
In the image, you can see ladybug eggs.

Where To Buy Ladybugs

Where To Buy Ladybugs? Buying ladybugs to combat aphid pests is one of the preferred ecological ways in the garden and one of the most environmentally friendly forms of biological control.

One of the most frequent questions asked by readers is how many ladybugs are needed to combat a pest, and the truth is that this is very relative to the size of the crop. For example, in the case of a pest in a few pots, let’s suppose it is in a space of a patio or balcony of a house, with 5 specimens we would have enough since it is an insect quite voracious with the aphid.

Where to buy ladybugs? Ladybugs can be purchased from online stores or some local nurseries. Usually, the concern when buying ladybugs online is that many larvae arrive dead, but for this, the packages are prepared in such a way that the insects have enough food and excellent conditions.

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  • Includes a Ladybug educational sheet with Release Tips, Release Rates, Ladybug Fun Facts and FAQ's
  • Nature's Good Guys mesh bag of Live adult ladybugs
  • Ladybugs are general predators that feed on a variety of slow-moving insects including Aphids, Moth eggs, Mites, Scales, Thrips, Leaf Hoppers, Mealybugs, Chinch Bugs, Asparagus Beetle larvae, Whitefly and others

How to Release Ladybugs

To release ladybugs in the garden, follow these steps:

Choose a location: Ladybugs prefer a sunny and protected area with plenty of plants and flowers.

Prepare the area: Remove any insecticides or pesticides and ensure that there is water available for the ladybugs to drink.

Release the ladybugs: Slowly and gently pour the ladybugs into the area you have prepared, or release them from a container.

Observe: Wait a few minutes for the ladybugs to become active and fly away. They will begin to feed and mate within a few days of release.

Avoid releasing ladybugs in areas where the temperature is below 50 °F (10 °C) as they will not be able to fly and will likely die.

By following these steps, you will be able to properly release the ladybugs in your garden. Provide your ladybugs with a ladybug house which will encourage ladybug reproduction.

how to release ladybugs
Various ladybugs feed on insects.

Final Conclusions

So, Are ladybugs good for the garden? Of course, they are, ladybugs are an excellent biological way to control insects that affect plants in the garden. I hope this article clarifies all your questions about ladybugs as a biological method to control other insects. If you have problems with ants I recommend you to read our article about how to get rid of ants in potted plants naturally.

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About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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