Try these tips for creating a ladybug-friendly garden to attract more of these beneficial insects!
You can’t talk about beneficial bugs in the garden without mentioning ladybugs! Ladybugs – or ladybeetles or ladybirds according to some – are one of our greatest garden allies, as the short video below discusses. Creating a ladybug-friendly garden can help to keep pests at bay naturally. You may already know that they help control aphids (the larvae can eat up to 5,000 aphids apiece during their lifetime!), but did you know that ladybugs and their larvae also eat lots of other garden pests as well – including whitefly, mites, and scale insects? Cute as they are, they truly are formidable predators!
There are many different species of ladybugs, and while they may look slightly different, they can all be wonderful insects to have in the garden. (The Harlequin ladybug is considered an invasive species and will sometimes eat the eggs and larvae of other ladybugs, but they also eat plenty of pests as well.) Creating a ladybug-friendly garden can help to attract these beneficial predators to your area.
There are a number of things you can do to encourage ladybugs to take up residence in your garden. Nettles provide a great habitat for ladybugs to lay their eggs, while pollen-rich flowers like yarrow, fennel, dill, calendula, and marigold will help to attract adult beetles. You should also leave some stems, dried leaves, and other wild areas for them to overwinter in or nearby your garden. You can also make your own ladybug hotel as shown in the video below.
Lastly, be sure to avoid using pesticides in your garden, which will kill off beneficial predator insects including ladybugs, and may even make your pest problem worse in the long run!
Watch this video to learn more about these amazing little beetles and how to create a ladybug-friendly garden in your own backyard: