Do you own a home garden? If so, you might be careful about guarding your tender sprouts and flowers from animals of all kinds. This is natural because many animals wreak havoc on garden plants by trampling the soil, eating the plant leaves, or breaking your plant containers. However, did you know that you should make your garden a welcoming home to one specific animal? This animal can be beneficial to your back yard garden and bring you joy in the process. This special animal is the common ladybug. You can experience the joys of releasing live ladybugs in your back yard if you understand how ladybugs can help you and how you should care for them. (We haven’t been reimbursed to note that we order our ladybugs from Gardens Alive.) [photo via flickr]
Natural Pest Control
Ladybugs are an excellent form of natural pest control, because they feed on a common garden pest – the aphid. Aphids are responsible for some of the most destructive effects on gardens. The adult aphids literally suck the juices from young plants, drying them out and causing them to wither. This process continues even if you water them and feed them regularly, which can leave you scratching your head as to why your plants won’t grow. Not only do aphids suck your plants dry, they leave damaging residue on your plant leaves. When they eat, they release a residue that can cause your plant to develop black mold. They also shed their skin frequently, which leaves millions of white spots all over your plants.
When you release live ladybugs in your back yard garden, though, you might be surprised to find out just how fast your aphid problem will disappear. Adult ladybugs can eat up to 1,000 aphids a day and young ladybugs can eat up to 500 a day. In just a few weeks, your garden can be as good as new!
Another benefit of releasing live ladybugs in your back yard is that you get the opportunity to have low-maintenance wildlife right on your property. Ladybugs are wild creatures, but they are very easy to care for. They’re also beautiful animals, sporting all kinds of color schemes – from the traditional red with black spots to the more unusual white with yellow spots. If you’re careful, they may even allow you to pick them up and get a closer look.
Fun for the Kids, too
Ladybugs provide a source of joy and entertainment for children, too. Because ladybugs are gentle creatures, kids love picking them up for a closer look. Releasing ladybugs in your garden is a great way to teach kids about gardening and the growing process. Kids love the creepy feeling of having their arms covered in ladybugs–and when they’re older, they can try praying mantises. A warning, though: some of the ladybugs won’t survive the journey. Just a few, so tell your kids that they’re sleeping and will be flying around later. Or tell them the cold hard facts of life, if you prefer.
Why not try adding live ladybugs to your back yard? You may be surprised to see how much joy they bring to both you and your garden!