How to Attract Ladybugs to Your Garden
Ladybugs have long been identified as a wonderful natural insect repellent and as such are quite popular with gardeners. One of the best sights a gardener can see are ladybugs flying around and being active.
If you have a budding garden and want no part of dangerous pesticides, you need to know how to attract ladybugs and keep them around. Here are some tips that will help you do so quickly and easily:
Understand what ladybugs do
Ladybugs are looking for food, shelter and water just like any other living creature. If you provide these things, they will come and take up residence eventually. The key is to provide what the ladybugs are looking for in a garden.
Give ladybugs proper food sources
Ladybugs eat problem insects and pollen. Providing the pollen is rather easy. Simply plant several of their favorites in the immediate area and they will come flying. Here is a list of some of the ladybugs favorite plants:
- Sweet Alyssum
If you notice, each of these plants are fairly attractive as well so it is not as though you will be trashing your yard with ugly plants. These white and golden plants provide wonderful sources of pollen for the ladybugs in your garden.
The other source of food (and the one that we are most attracted to as gardeners) is pest insects. Ladybugs absolutely love aphids…you know those nasty, pain in the neck insects that help to ruin your hard work?
Aphids are naturally going to be around most gardens so supply is usually not a problem. They also eat mites, scale and other harmful insects to a garden.
Make sure you have shelter for the ladybugs
Ladybugs are not difficult creatures to keep nearby. If they can have the things they need, they will hang around forever. One of the toughest things is shelter.
Ladybug houses are out there that can be bought or you can create a natural little housing for ladybugs if you are a DIY type of person. Ladybugs are not terribly picky but they want something that will protect them from predators and provide a place to rest.
Provide simple water sources for the ladybugs
This is actually done well by nature if you live in an area that rains often, but otherwise it is important to keep the food flowers sprinkled with water on occasion. Shallow water bowls are also a good way to keep them watered but you have to be careful to change it out often.
It can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes as well if you let the water stand too long. Ladybugs must have water sources to survive and will not hang around a garden long without it.