Ladybugs - A Gardeners Best Friend

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An awareness of the ladybug's important benefit to our gardens
by Maple Tree · All Zones · Insects · 0 Comments · March 06, 2012 · 4,306 views

ADULT LADYBUGAs spring and the warmer weather approaches the anticipation of getting my garden ready for sping is over. Noticing the Ladybugs in the garden next to me, working hard to rid the new foliage of aphids and other harmful insects, reminds me of their value to our gardens. Just as the Mason Bee is a valuable pollinator in our gardens the Ladybug's importance as a natural pest controller is equally valuable. They are beneficial in keeping our ornamentals, fruits, and vegetables pest free and therefore healthier.

The ladybug's favorite meal is the aphid, but will never pass up other small plant destroying pests if the occasion arises. The pretty bright colored adult labybugs can eat 5000 bad insects during their adult life span, but the ugly, dark colored, alligator looking baby ladybugs (Larvae) will devour many more than the adults. The ladybugs, earthworms, bees, and some wasps are just a few of the insects known as 'Beneficial' Insects. They are natures way of helping us eradicate the bad insects without the use of timely and costly insecticides. Because of this it is extremely important to identify an insect as a 'Beneficial' or 'Harmful' insect before using pesticides to rid our gardens of them.

I like to think of the Ladybug as a 'SECOND HAND' in the garden. As they are dining all day long on the garden pests they are giving me more time to enjoy the gardens instead of finding ways to distroy them myself. There are ways you can attract and keep the ladybugs around your gardens. Flowering plants such as the marigold, daisies, cosmos, and sweet alyssum are a few flowering plants they like. They not only munch on aphids and other pests of these plants, but will eat the pollen in order to store up energy before hibernating during the cooler seasons. The ladybug will always lay their eggs where their food supply is plentyful. This way they will always be there for you and secure breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the next generation.

In the spring most nurseries will have ladybugs for sale. Kits for rearing them are also in nurseries or can be found online. The Ladybug is not only an interesting and beneficial insect (they are actually beatles) to have in the garden, but fun for your kids to catch and study. Its an experience they will enjoy and another way for them to learn more of natures environment and respect for these small forms of life in our gardens. A Ladybug Farm this year may be a fun alternative to the ant farm to share with their classmates, or a great science project for school.

Many may want to create a Ladybug Garden to add to their other theme gardens. Planting favorite flowers of the ladybug in your existing gardens or creating a Ladybug Garden of its own can be rewarding, beautiful, and beneficial to all your other gardens; another great project for the kids.Ladybug Larvae

Ladybug or Lady Beatle facts, information, rearing kits, pictures, and fun projects can be found by clicking on links below.


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