If you've tried just about everything to keep the pests off your beloved plant babies, maybe it is time to give ladybugs a chance. It may be just the secret ingredient you need for that pest free garden.
A friend once told me that my spirit animal was a ladybug, and I am confident in the fact that I have never and will never be so flattered for all my days.
Ladybugs are nothing but a good omen. People say that if ladybugs are following you around, it’s because things are about to become particularly fortuitous, or that you are particularly fertile. Either way, ladybugs are adorable and when one lands on your shoulder, you’re going to feel magical.
As it turns out, ladybugs are also the knight in shining armor when it comes to your garden. These precious beetles are super tactful when it comes to pest control, and attracting a colony of ladybugs is a superb and natural way to achieve that.
Table of Contents
Facts About Ladybugs
What do ladybugs eat?
What they eat is a big reason they’re great for your garden.
Ladybugs are known to be particularly annoying for aphids. Aphids are the favorite meal of ladybugs, and females will actually lay their eggs directly in the middle of a colony of aphids, to ensure that the larvae have some fast food right when they hatch.
Aphids are horrible for plants! They’re super tiny and very hard for humans to deal with themselves, and they nestle in the most vulnerable places of plants to suck out their nutrients! Luckily, ladybugs have a quality set of chompers on them to take down those pesky aphids.
Ladybugs also have a strong appetite for spider mites, mealybugs, and will chow down on almost any kind of larvae they come across. They’ll eat up to 5000 insects in their lifetime, which probably does a pretty good job of pest management in your garden.
A female ladybug will produce 1000 eggs per season and can produce 5 generations within her lifetime. That is a terrifying army of predators for garden pests.
Pro tip: don’t be too hasty about raking all of your fall leaves. Leave at least a corner of your yard with some leaf coverage. This provides a super helpful and necessary environment for bugs to survive throughout the winter. Ladybugs actually hibernate in the winter months, make sure they have a place to do that!
How to Attract Ladybugs to Your Garden
Ladybugs are funnily particular about their habitat. Follow these simple methods, and there’s a good chance that ladybugs will never want to leave your garden of Eden.
1. Avoid using chemical sprays, no herbicides, no pesticides. There’s always a natural alternative to chemical solutions
2. Plant some flowers and vegetables that aphids love! This may seem contradictory, but ladybugs love aphids so much, they’ll travel to wherever they are. Here’s a list of aphid prone plants:
3. Have good juju. I’ve always found that when things are going right in my life, ladybugs just seem to appear and solidify that good luck. Positive thinking my friends! It’s a powerful thing.
Where can I buy ladybugs?
If you’re having trouble attracting ladybugs naturally, Gardeners Supply Company will actually ship them to your door!
Do ladybugs have predators?
Oh yes, they have to watch out for crows, swallows, martins, parasitic wasps, dragonflies ants, the list goes on.
Can ladybugs bite you?
They can! They are not venomous in any way unless you have an allergy to ladybugs. Their bites are also so small you’d scarcely notice it happening.
What do ladybugs represent?
They’re seen as a good omen in many cultures! They represent fortuity, fertility, and overall well being.
Are ladybugs beetles?
Yes, they are! They’re considered beetles because of their mouth like orifice, and because of the hard wing cover called elytra.
Why do ladybugs have spots?
Ladybugs are colored that way as a way to deter predators. In nature, the combination of black and red is usually representative of a venomous creature and tells predators to stay away.
Where do ladybugs hibernate?
Come wintertime, colonies of ladybugs will find places to hibernate like fallen logs, inside houses, under rocks, and under cover of fallen leaves.