Ladybugs – Your best ally in the fight with aphids!
Let’s learn a little bit about these pest eaters. Ladybugs have many names. Such as lady beetle, Asian lady beetle, multicolored Asian lady beetle, ladybird and many more. They are actually not bugs but are beetles. Ladybird Beetle is the correct name but I still like “ladybug” There are about 5,000 species of ladybugs worldwide, only 400 are native to North America. The convergent lady beetle is the most common species.
Ladybugs are widely used as a form of natural pest control. Aphids seem to be the top food choice for them but they also eat scale insects, mealy bugs, mites, white fly and other soft insects. A fully grown hungry ladybug can eat 50 aphids a day! They could eat 5,000 aphids in their lifetime in both larvae and adult stages.
Aphids are the most common garden pest insect and they feed on almost every type of plant. There are many different species of aphids but they all seem to have the same goal in mind… destroying you’re garden! They feed in colonies which is why they are so destructive and fast.
Signs of aphids are dried and colorless leaves and curled leaf tips. Aphids usually can be found on the underside of leaves and close to the top where the most nutrients can be sucked from the plant. They are savage little things and need to be dealt with as fast as possible.
Here at our Kent, WA. Sunglo office and warehouse we have a few greenhouses on display and like to grow plants and veggies ourselves, so we take advantage of the opportunity by growing a few things here and there. We bought a few herb plants from a home and garden depot only to find aphids on them!
We decided to try ladybugs for pest control. And boy let me tell you… it was awesome! We were able to purchase 1500 bugs online and they arrived within 5 days, let them free in our small lean-to greenhouse and within 15 minutes almost every aphid had disappeared! Overall I would 100% recommend ladybugs to get rid you of your pest nuisance! They are cute, inexpensive and best of all non-toxic! We freed most of them by keeping the doors wide open but a few are still around, stalking their next aphid meal.
To learn about another common pest; thrips – click here.