Learning to Love Ladybugs
The ladybug is one of the few insects which enjoys popularity around the world, and for good reason. These pretty insects are credited with many virtues. Ladybugs have long been considered a symbol of good luck and fortune. Because of their ability to eat an enormous supply of aphids, ladybugs were believed to be sent from heaven to save crops. In some cultures, the sight of a ladybug indicates a bountiful harvest, a harbinger of good weather or a good luck omen.
With an appetite for aphids, ladybugs are a gardener’s best friend!
In the 1880’s ladybugs were brought over from Australia in an attempt to save orange trees in California from pests that were destroying them. Since this time, over 100 species of ladybugs have been sent over to North America.
Ladybugs do a wonderful job of eating thousands of garden and crop pests such as aphids, green flies, mealybugs and other scale insects. One ladybug can eat over 1,000 aphids in one day! You are most likely to see ladybugs when the weather begins to warm in the spring until cold weather sets in the fall. When cooler weather arrives, you may begin to see ladybugs in your house or garage. They are looking for a place to hibernate. Your home provides the perfect spot!
Ladybug Habitation Boxes are a great way to encourage ladybugs to stay and live in your garden! They provide protection for lady bugs in the winter months when food is not available and as an incubation area for egg hatching and molting. Adult ladybugs need nectar and pollen sources in order to lay eggs. You can also use commercially available ladybug lure to keep them around.
Attracting Ladybugs to your Backyard
Here are some suggestions for attracting ladybugs:
Place several ladybug habitation boxes around your garden. Fill with ladybug lure and organic material such as peat or compost. This will encourage the ladybugs to roost and lay eggs inside the box.
Offer plenty of water sources such as a bird bath or ground level water source.
Place commercially available ladybug lure in your habitation boxes and spray ladybug lure on your plants and flowers.
Avoid using chemical pesticides.