Many folks have fun memories of happening upon a ladybug (or ladybird) and whooping for joy at their good luck. Then they would gently pick it up and hope it crawled all the way to their elbow before taking off. These people were right in their belief that ladybugs were good creatures. Little did they know that ladybugs are a lot more than an omen of good luck.
Many modern organic gardeners know something more about ladybugs. The truth is that ladybugs are a great addition to both flower and vegetable gardens. Not only are they cool looking, they act as caretakers of your prized plants. Why? They chow on aphids and whiteflies like a large family at a buffet! Isn’t that amazing? In fact, ladybugs eat all kinds of scale insects. So if you want to have ladybugs helping out in your garden, follow these tips.
First off, see if you can attract these polka-dotted pals to your garden naturally. You can do this by having tulips and lilies and other cup-shaped flowers around. The ladybugs love this bloom shape due to the fact that these blooms capture water and keep things inside them somewhat cool. Thus, ladybugs like to make their homes in them. If this doesn’t bring in the ladybugs, at least you should be able to enjoy some nice butterflies! Additional plants that can attract ladybugs due to their shape and pollen include dill, fennel, white cosmos, and geraniums.
The next avenue to explore for attracting ladybugs is actually to just go get some. You could call around to nurseries or you could even order some ladybugs online. They are cheap and easy to introduce to the garden. Plan on setting them out there on a cool night, in fact you can refrigerate the bugs for a couple hours to slow them down before setting them out. Keep the plants wet for a few days after introducing the polka-dotted pretties, in order to stop them from migrating and to encourage them to make their home in your garden.
Now, you know that you have succeeded in establishing ladybug colonies in your garden if you can find their unique eggs. These are quite small and perfectly round. They are a pale yellow and you can find them in groups of up to thirty or more on the underside of leaves. Remember that ladybugs like it cool, so check on leaves lower down on the plants. They can be hard to find, but once you find them, you will know what they are.
The wonderful thing about ladybugs is that they are lovely and do no harm whatsoever in your garden. Each ladybug can eat up to fifty aphids a day! What is more, in a year, you could have up to three generations of ladybugs inhabiting your garden. So get to it and whet your ladybug whistle!