We have had multiple people ask if ladybugs are truly beneficial, and the answer is YES! There are many insects that are beneficial to keep in your garden, whether its a flower garden or vegetable garden.
The lady beetle or more commonly known as the red spotted ladybug is one of the great beneficial insects to have in the garden. The famous ladybug is not actually a bug but a true beetle. Now before you get ahead of yourself and order a bunch of ladybugs for your garden its important to know How the ladybug plays its beneficial role. Adult ladybugs will eat aphids and other soft bodied pests but like other insects the adult ladybug does not eat all that much. It’s the ladybugs larvae that do the majority of the beautiful work. The larvae can eat a lot and they will munch a lot of aphids and soft pests.
Now that you know it’s the ladybug larvae that are so beneficial, how do you go about getting them to your garden and better yet, getting them to stay in your garden? You can order ladybugs online and have them shipped to you, or occasionally and depending where you live, you can find them at your local garden supply store. Once you get them, don’t rush out and throw them in your garden. The ladybugs MUST be released in the evening, in a garden that is completely wet with lots of water and has aphids. Why the strict rules? First off, Lady bugs do not fly in the dark, so waiting after that sun has gone down will insure that they will stay the night in your garden. Secondly, when the ladybugs arrive they will be dehydrated and ready for some water, if they garden is dry there is the risk they will fly away in the morning sun. And thirdly, if there aren’t any aphids for their young/larvae to eat and thrive on, there is no reason for them to stay and you have high risk of them flying away.