Ladybugs are an excellent form of natural pest control, but they are hard to find. This article will share some tips on what attracts ladybugs to your garden or yard.
Having pests like aphids in your garden is one of the worst things for a gardener.
These pesky little insects destroy your valuable vegetables and fruit-bearing plants.
Keeping ladybugs in your garden is the best way to get rid of these pests naturally.
Ladybugs are active hunters of aphids, but it can be a little hard to get them to come to your home.
In this blog, we explore some ways to attract ladybugs.
Why You Should Bring Ladybugs To Your Garden?
One of the foremost problems for farmers and gardeners is how to tackle and eliminate pests like aphids that harm agricultural crops.
While using insecticides to kill off pests is one solution, if it’s food crops, using them is a strict no-no.
Moreover, insecticides end up damaging the fertility of the soil and killing off beneficial insects in the garden.
Therefore you need a more environmentally friendly solution.
All species of ladybugs are good at hunting soft-bodied insects like aphids, mites, scales, thrips, and more. In particular, ladybugs and their larvae are extremely fond of eating aphids.
Aphids are creatures that destroy different plants by sucking out the life-giving sap from them.
A ladybug can eat upto 5,000 of these pests in her lifetime, and this is the best natural solution to this menace.
How To Attract Ladybugs To Your Garden?
Now that we know why gardeners across the world want ladybugs to come and reside in their gardens, let’s turn our attention to the tricks to attract these bright red-colored, black-spotted insects.
If you are looking to have a bunch of these bugs in your yard, the following tips will help:
Beetle Attracting Plants
Lady beetles are attracted to yards that have certain plants in them. Apart from insects, ladybugs also feed on pollens, and these plants’ pollen is particularly yummy for them.
Listed below are a few plants that you can add to your garden to attract these insects:
- Garlic plants: These are great for ladybugs as garlic flowers attract different pollinators. Also, you will be happy to know that the Garlic plants repel unwanted insects and pests like mosquitoes and flies.
- Scented geranium: It is great for attracting different species of ladybugs. These plants are strong and withstand harsh weather. On top of that, they are easy to grow and require maintenance. Similar to garlic flowers, these plants also repel pets.
- Dill: You may know dill as a herb that is used to add flavors to recipes, but they are also great for attracting pollinators like ladybugs. They also repel the tomato hornworms when grown near tomatoes.
- Bachelor’s button: The bright colors of the bachelor’s button flowers attract ladybugs and other pollinators. The flowers can be blue, pink, and white in color.
- Calendulas: These plants can also be used to attract ladybugs. Their flowers are considered herbs, and they have soothing properties.
- Cilantro: If you are into South Asian cuisines, you must be familiar with cilantro. This highly aromatic plant can be great for attracting ladybugs.
- Parsley: Umbel-shaped plants attract ladybirds, and parsley is one such easy-to-grow plant that is great to have in the garden. Parsley is a common herb and helps to reduce blood pressure.
- Butterfly weed: The butterfly weed is excellent for attracting butterflies to vividly colored flowers and tasty nectar. This plant also attracts ladybugs.
- Marigold: Ladybugs and other pollinators love marigold nectar and are highly attracted to its bright colors. Having these flowers in your garden can add a touch of vibrance to it.
Ladybugs are attracted to light sources, like many other insects, due to the heat that they produce. Keeping a bright light or bug light in your garden can attract these insects.
However, be aware that some species of ladybugs, like Asian ladybugs, can be problematic. These are invasive pests that try to enter your home to seek warmth during the colder months of the year.
These insects are attracted to light-colored houses that emit heat. Therefore you should prevent heat from leaving your interiors if there are Asian ladybugs in your vicinity, including turning off your porch and exterior lights.
Decoy Plants To Attract Aphids
Aphids are great food for ladybugs. These insects are actively hunted and consumed by different species of ladybugs worldwide.
If your garden has just enough of these aphids (not too many, because the infestation may get out of control), ladybugs will definitely get attracted to it.
This may seem counter-productive initially, but this is an excellent way of promoting natural pest control.
There are some decoy plants, like Marigolds, Nasturtium, cabbage, and radish, that attract aphids. If you plant them slightly away from your actual crops, they will bring in aphids, and the ladybugs will follow suit.
How To Make Your Own Ladybug Feeder To Attract Them
As mentioned in the above sections, to attract ladybugs to your garden, you must lure them in with enough food so that they choose to live in your yard.
One of the best ways of doing so is by building a ladybug feeder.
You can make these at home with easy-to-access materials like bamboo, raisins, and garden chains. You will also need the list of tools that are mentioned below:
- Long Ruler
Follow the step-by-step process mentioned below to build a ladybug feeder from scratch:
- Gather all your tools in one place and mark the bamboo at 10 inches with the pencil.
- Once you’ve marked the bamboo, use the pencil to draw a line connecting each end of the bamboo, this will act as a reference to build an umbrella for the rainy season.
- Carefully cut the bamboo at the marked ends. Make sure that you apply only a little pressure, as it may split the bamboo from the middle.
- Once both ends are cut, you almost have an end product, but you still need to smoothen out the freshly cut edges with sandpaper to avoid injuries and cuts.
- Use the drill to carefully create holes in the bamboo to hang the garden chain. Do it gently, as too much pressure will split open the bamboo frame.
- Make sure that the drilled holes are slightly bigger than the diameter of your chain for a perfect fit.
- Insert and tie the chain ends to the bamboo using a double knot on both ends for increased stability.
- Choose a suitable spot to hang this feeder. It is good to find a nice feeding spot to hang these feeders. For example, if you have marigold plants in your garden, hang this near them. They majorly attract both aphids and ladybugs.
- Once the hanging part is done, you add some raisins to the ladybug feeder. These can act as a food source for them when there is a shortage of aphids in your garden.
How to Release Ladybugs?
If nothing else works, you can always buy ladybugs from a reputed seller. However, merely buying them is not enough; you need to know how to release them in your garden.
Try to release them during the evening right after watering the garden. This will help them get moisture right after being released.
Once they come to know that there is enough moisture and food in the garden, they will instantly try to make it their home.
Also, rather than releasing them all at once in a single spot, try releasing them in different batches in different areas; this will minimize the risk of territorial fights between them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does it mean when you see a lot of ladybugs?
When you see a lot of ladybugs around, it generally means that the particular area is filled with food for ladybugs.
This may include aphids, mites, scales, garlic plants, marigold plants, cilantro, and more.
In some cultures, getting to see a lot of ladybugs is also considered a sign of good luck. This is particularly true in Asian countries.
What causes ladybugs to appear?
Ladybugs generally appear in areas and gardens that have plenty of food sources for them.
They prefer areas with a good population of aphids and also plants like garlic flowers, dill, marigold, and more.
In the cold season, the Asian lady beetle gets attracted by the heat inside your home, and they try to sneak in.
Do ladybugs lay eggs in houses?
Ladybugs usually do not lay eggs in houses. These bugs only prefer to enter the premises of a person’s home to seek warmth during the cold season.
They lay eggs on the undersides of leaves to protect them from predators.
Can Lady bugs bite you?
Yes, ladybugs have strong mandibles and chewing mouthparts that they can use to bite humans.
The bites are a little painful, but they don’t cause much harm to humans. Also, continuous exposure to dead ladybugs can trigger allergic reactions in the human body.
Lady beetles are the best natural pest-controlling option for your garden, but they can be hard to attract to your place.
You can bring them to your yard by putting up plants like garlic, calendula, parsley, or dill to attract them. You can also add bug lights in your garden.
There are a few decoy plants that attract aphids, such as marigolds; you can plant them and invite ladybugs along with them.
We hope you will use all the information we gave above to attract them to your garden.
Thank you for reading the article!