Ways to Attract Ladybugs to Your Garden: 5 Great Ideas
You spend countless hours planning out your garden. You carefully choose companion plants, map out the arrangement, and plant them in the ground. Once planted, you provide water and nutrients in hopes of having a beautiful, healthy garden. So, what happens when aphids, mites, and other plants destroying insects invade your garden?
One ideal plan of attack is to provide an environment that will attract ladybugs to your garden, and here are five ways to do so.
The 5 Ways to Attract Ladybugs to Your Garden
1. Provide Them With Shelter
Ladybugs need shelter from flying predators like birds and insects. Planting some thyme or oregano is an ideal choice for a fragrant herb that will keep them hidden from predators.
Laying a ground cover to your garden will also attract ladybugs. They love to hide in things like straw mulch and layers of leaves, so they are an ideal choice for covering the ground and attracting ladybugs to your garden.
2. Add Fragrant Plants and Herbs to Your Garden
When ladybugs don’t have any aphids, scales, or mites to nibble on, their second favorite munchie is pollen. They enjoy feasting on flowering plants and herbs with white or yellow blossoms. If you want to add some ladybug-loving plants, try these.
- Sweet Alyssum
3. Apply an Organic Insect Attractant
If you want to attract ladybugs to your vegetable garden, encourage them to do so by adding an organic insect attractant. They can be purchased online or at your local nursery, or you can even make one yourself.
To make it yourself, mix ten parts water, one part sugar (or honey), and one part brewer’s yeast (whey yeast is fine also). Add the ingredients into a spray bottle and apply it to the plants in your garden. This will help to attract more ladybugs.
4. Provide a Water Source
In addition to the rainwater and water droplets on the leaves, you should provide a steady water source for your colorful beetles. Place some dishes with rocks through the garden. The rocks will provide the ladybugs with a sturdy area to land when they need a drink of water.
To prevent the water from getting stagnant and becoming a breeding ground for other insects like mosquitoes, frequently empty the dishes and replenish them with fresh water.
5. Build a Ladybug Home
While you can create a natural shelter for your ladybugs, there are other ways to provide a safe place for your ladybugs to lay their eggs and get out of the harsh elements.
A quick google search is sure to find tutorials for all skill levels. They can be made in all sizes and shapes and from materials you may have in your shed or garage. Wiki How suggests adding raisins as a welcome gift in the new ladybug home.
The Benefits of Ladybugs in Your Garden
Whether it is your tomato plants, flowers, fruits, or herbs, you do not want to have aphids, lacewings, or any other plant-destroying insect feeding off your garden. The best way to control these annoying pests is to get pest-loving ladybugs to chow down on these annoying invaders.
Purchasing Ladybugs for Your Garden
Did you know that you can purchase ladybugs online, from gardening catalogs, and other vendors?
The beetles are harvested, packaged, and sold to organic growers around the world. The 7-spotted beetle is commonly found in European gardens, but the most common among the species is the 12-spotted ladybug and native to the Southeast US is the 9-spotted lady.
If you purchase ladybugs to release in your garden, refrigerate them for about six to eight hours. Doing so will not harm them but they will remain calm when you open the container to release them in the garden.
Be sure to buy ladybugs that are good for your climate.
Releasing Ladybugs into the Garden
It is important to release your ladybugs at the right time. Let them go at dusk or dawn will encourage them to stay put. The cool temperature and low light help them to adapt to their environment and move around during sunrise. As they begin to become active in the early morning, they will want to stay and hydrate with the morning dew.
Be sure they have food and water and release them near a plant that is infested with aphids. To keep them where you need them, water the plants prior to releasing them so they will stay and take a drink.
Ladybugs are colorful little beetles that will be beneficial to your garden. They will help to control invasive pests and keep your plants safe and healthy. If you lack pest-eating ladybugs, try these ideas to attract them and keep them in your garden.
Featured Image Credit: jrydertr, Pixabay