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Enticing Ladybugs To Your Garden

Published Date: May 11, 2015

Ladybugs are more than just adorable. These cute little critters can be an incredibly important part of helping your garden grow bright and beautiful throughout the spring and summer months. While inexperienced gardeners may worry a little bit at seeing these insects crawling on their plants, they can rest easy knowing that their resident ladybugs are doing everything that they can to rid your garden of much more harmful pests, including aphids. As a matter of fact, an adult ladybug can eat up to 50 aphids (as well as other similar, soft-bodied insects) per day. That means that a good crop of hungry ladybugs in your garden can significantly reduce the amount of damage you receive to your plants.

Flowers That Attract Ladybugs

With a little smart thinking and smart planting, you can easily entice ladybugs to your garden throughout the warmer months. Ensuring that ladybugs have a proper food source is a great place to start. Several types of flowers have the right shape (with flat petals that make for perfect ladybug landing sites), the right color (typically white or yellow) and the right pollen to attract these cutesy critters to your garden.

Choose Angelica, Calendula, Cosmos, and Marigolds for your flower garden, and don't forget to grow a few plants in your herb garden for hungry ladybugs as well. Cilantro, chives, and dill are a yummy treat for ladybugs, and make for delicious dishes in your kitchen, as well! Though it may seem a bit counterproductive, you can also entice ladybugs to your garden by attracting the tasty aphids that they like to eat. Plants such as radishes and flowers such as Nasturtium in small amounts can drive the aphids in - and the ladybugs with them.

ladybugs yellow flower

Other Ways to Attract Lady Bugs

In addition to using these methods to attract ladybugs to your garden, you can purchase ladybugs at gardening centers and even online. Just remember to keep a few tips in mind to ensure that they stay in your garden once you've got them there. First, ensuring that the aforementioned flowers and plants are growing in your garden also ensures that they have a food source that makes them want to stick around. Second, make use of certain tricks such as refrigerating them slightly before setting them free (to make them sluggish, so they don't immediately fly away).

Another great option, especially if you have younger children who may have an interest in watching them grow, is to build your ladybug farm. A fish tank with a few moist towels, some twigs and leaves for them to land on, and aphids for food is the perfect environment for starting your crop of ladybugs. Simply get a few ladybugs to start with from your local gardening center, or go on a ladybug hunt. Cover the tank with thin muslin, so your new friends can breathe. With daily aphid feeding and a moist cotton ball as a water source, you'll have plenty of ladybugs ready to release into your garden in no time at all!  

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