It's easy to think that all bugs are feeding on your garden, spreading disease and causing you to pull your hair out. Although there are definitely some bugs that are guilty of these allegations ladybugs are an exception. Not justbecausethey are considered a beetle but, becausethey are arguably one of the unsung heroes of the garden. Not to mentionthey are good luck! Keep these "ladies" around your garden and feel a sense of relief when they start cleaning up the town.
THE LADYBUG OR LADY BEETLE How to Identify: Adult lady beetles are round beetles measuring no more than 3/8" in length. They can be red, orange, or black in color with or without spots. The larvae are said to look somewhat like an alligator in its shape with tiny spiked projections and orange striping on its blue or black body. Ladybug eggs are yellowish or whitish, oval-shaped and laying in clusters.
Attractants: The number one thing that will helpattract ladybugs to your yardisfood. Ladybugs eat two things: insect pests and pollen. They need both to survive and when these thingsare in abundance, ladybugs will happily relocate to your garden. There are several pollen plants that ladybugs like. The blooms on these plants normally have flat flowers. These plantsinclude angelica, calendula, caraway, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, marigold, statice, and yarrow.
Benefits: Ladybugs, or lady beetles, are considered a beneficial bug which helps rid an area of crop-damaging aphids, mealybugs, and other destructive insect pests. The adult ladybugs feed on these insects. They also lay their eggs among the aphids or other prey so the emerging larvae can feed on the insects, too (savage). Solutions for Keeping Ladybugs in the Garden: 1)Making sure that there isfood, shelter, and water will go a long way to making your garden look like a good place to settle down and layeggs(which means more ladybugs).
2)Make sure they have enough bugs to eat. While it may seem counterproductive, leaving aphids and other pests alone will help withattracting ladybugs.It may be helpful to plant decoy plants that will attract and provide aphids while youkeep your desired plants bug-free until the ladybugs come to do it for you.Plants that can be used as aphid-attracting areearly cabbage, marigold, nasturtium, and radish.