Most of us know that Ladybugs are good insects. They are known for ridding plants from insect pest, such as aphids. In Medieval Europe people believed that the ladybug was sent from Heaven to protect the crops. They called these insects “Bug of Our Lady” as a reference to the Virgin Mary. As time passed the name was shortened to ladybug.
After a few days of hard rain I noticed little red bugs all over my potato bed. I instantly started researching what these pesky bugs could be. I’m still unsure what these pests were and luckily once the rain let up they seemed to have left but I knew I needed to figure out my pest control for the season.
There are several organic options out there for the home gardener such as Neem Oil and Spinosad but I was looking for a solution that didn’t require weekly sprayings on my plants. Research and recommendations from friends led me to ordering live ladybugs from Home Depot.
A single ladybug may eat as many as 5,000 aphids in it’s life. Besides aphids, ladybugs also will eat other small soft-bodied insect larvae, insect eggs, and mites.
Ladybugs require a source of pollen for food and are attracted to specific plants. You can also promote ladybug populations by elimination of spraying insecticides. Ladybugs are sensitive to most insecticides, also if the majority of their food source is gone they wont lay their eggs in your garden. It may be difficult, but allow aphids to live on certain plants to ensure that there is enough food for your ladybugs.
This is my first garden and therefore my first experience using these beneficial little ladies but I have a good feeling they’re going to be hard workers in my garden this year. Have you used ladybugs in your garden before? Did you notice less insect pest as a result?
I’ll leave y’all with some interesting ladybug facts:
- In the past, doctors would mash ladybugs and put them in your mouth to cure a toothache.
- In Switzerland, ladybugs are called good God’s little fairy.
- You can fit 80,000 ladybugs into a gallon jug.
- Male ladybugs are smaller than female ladybugs.
- Ladybugs are the official state insect of Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio and Tennessee.
- The spotted wing covers on ladybugs are made from a material called chitin, the same as our fingernails.