Using Ladybugs for Aphids makes great natural pest control.
Aphids tend to be a problem for most gardeners. They like to eat plants of the Brassica family like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collard, turnips, rutabagas, and the all-mighty kale. The kale and the broccoli tend to get hit the most, and it can really spoil your appetite as you’re about to wash your veggies and it’s chock full of tiny bugs that you can’t seem to ever get out!
Not to mention the little aphids, the wingless spawn of the odd winged aphid, feed by sucking sap from plants which can damage large amounts of crops in a short time as they reproduce rapidly.
Why Use Ladybugs for Aphids?
Ladybugs love to eat 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.
You can 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.
How to Release Ladyboys for Aphids
It’s best to wait until evening to release your ladybugs. This is because if they don’t like their new home they will fly away.
In the evening they need to settle down in a place for the night so you have a better chance of them staying. Ladybugs will need some water right away. If it hasn’t rained mist the areas where you are releasing your ladybugs with water. I gently scattered them about the garden close to areas with high aphid infestations and close to lots of frilly leaves.
It was an enjoyable evening watching the little ladybugs leave the bag and venture into the natural world. Some crawled up my hands, and after watching them for over half an hour while they adapt to their new surroundings I kept thinking they were crawling all over me!
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.
Plants for Attracting Ladybugs
Ladybugs are drawn to the frilly leaves of plants and then they will hang around and naturally help with pest control like your aphid problems.
Best Plants to Attract Ladybugs
- 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.
Have you used ladybugs for aphids in your garden?