Using Ladybugs for Aphids makes great natural pest control
What to ladybugs love to eat? Aphids!
How to get rid of aphids:
- Spraying water: I’ve tried dislodging them with the hose many times, and to be honest, it never seems to work.
- Grow plants with strong scents to deter them: This method uses strong smelling herbs (oregano, chives, sage) and alliums (onions, garlic) to deter the flies from landing on your vegetables and then making aphid babies.
- Companion planting: Growing plants like Nasturtiums that aphids like next to plants you want to eat to deter them.
- Use homemade organic sprays: Keep in mind that sometimes they also get rid of beneficial insects and you have to keep applying them.
- Ladybugs! This method is a form of natural pest control by attracting beneficial insects that eat the pests you are trying to get rid of. In this case ladybugs to eat the aphids.
Why use Ladybugs for aphids?
Ladybugs are capable of consuming up to 50 to 60 aphids per day but will also eat a variety of other insects and larvae including scales, mealy bugs, leaf hoppers, mites, and various types of soft-bodied insects. Both the adults and larvae are predators, and aphids are their favourite food! If you want in-depth information on the ladybug life cycle check out this link.
Plants for Attracting Ladybugs
Ladybugs are drawn to the frilly leaves of plants.
Best plants to attract ladyubugs
- scented geraniums
- cosmos flowers
- wild carrot (Queen Anne’s lace)
- wild flowers like dandelions and tansy
I like to grow carrots around the brassicas, which not only attracts ladybugs but makes for great companion planting.
You can also buy store bought ladybugs to release into your garden.
I ended up picking some up from DIG Garden Centre because despite trying to attract ladybugs, there was just not enough for good pest control.
Releasing store bought ladybugs
I placed a lot of the ladybugs near the favas which are being covered in black aphids. Placing them close to your brassicas, lettuce and roses helps because that tends to be where aphids are.