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3 Good Reasons to Let Ladybugs Live in Your Garden

Dealing with pests? While numerous insects can cause trouble in your garden, there’s one insect you might consider inviting to reside among your beloved plants: the ladybug.

Ladybugs are renowned for more than just their charming appearance and vibrant colors.

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Despite their diminutive size of just a quarter-inch, these winged insects can provide significant advantages when they inhabit and dine within your garden greenery.

Across the globe, there exist over 5,000 ladybug species, often regarded as symbols of good fortune.

Perhaps their reputation for bringing luck stems from their capacity to consume up to 5,000 insects—many of them unwanted pests—during their lifespan, rendering ladybugs a desirable presence in most gardens.

Here are three compelling reasons to encourage ladybugs to coexist with your plants.

1. Ladybugs Devour Undesirable Insects

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Both adult ladybugs and their larvae feast on various unwanted garden pests.

For instance, ladybugs relish aphids, notorious for damaging plants by sucking sap from stems and leaves, resulting in discoloration and stunted growth.

A substantial aphid infestation can leave behind a sugary residue, attracting ants and fostering fungal growth on plant surfaces.

Additionally, ladybugs consume lace bugs, mealybugs, various beetles, spider mites, and whiteflies, all of which pose threats to your garden plants if left unattended.

2. Ladybugs Serve as Pollinators

While bees are renowned as the primary pollinators, ladybugs also contribute to pollination efforts.

Numerous lady beetle species include nectar and pollen in their diets, and as they traverse from one flower to another in search of sustenance, they aid in pollination.

3. Ladybugs Provide a Natural Alternative to Chemicals

When confronting unwanted insects like aphids or spider mites in your garden, it’s tempting to resort to pesticides.

However, chemicals can harm beneficial insects as well. By introducing ladybugs to your garden to help control undesirable insects, you can manage pests using natural, biological methods.

Moreover, ladybugs are safe for humans and pets!

How to Attract Ladybugs Naturally

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While you can purchase ladybugs and other beneficial insects for your garden, there are also simple steps you can take to make your garden more appealing to them.

To entice ladybugs and encourage them to remain in your garden, ensure they have an ample food supply. Different ladybug species exhibit distinct food preferences.

According to Amy Dreves, program assistant at Oregon State University, “Some ladybugs prefer tree aphids, some prefer rose aphids, some exclusively target crucifer aphids (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower), while others are generalist feeders.”