Lovely little ladybug
sent from heaven above
please watch over my garden
and fill it up with love.
It is true that the Lady Beetle is also well known as the Ladybug. They are indeed blessings from above when dwelling in the natural garden. They feast upon your aphid pests so that no pesticides are ever needed. They have also been known to eat various scale and mites that may infest your garden as well.
You may be surprised to learn that the ladybug is not always red with black spots. There are literally thousands of different types of ladybugs in all kinds of colors around the world. Many have spots while others have none and some actually have stripes. Their colors range from orange to red, to pink, yellow, green and even black. Although they all benefit the garden, it is said that the ladybug called hippodamia convergens is the best one. They will make your garden home for a very long time and eat thousands of aphids. You can recognize this ladybug by two white slash marks above her wings.
It is important to know the life cycles of your beneficial insects. That way you can best recognize them and not mistake them for a pest. The Ladybugs lay tiny white eggs under the foliage of different plants. Usually they lay a cluster of 10 to 15 eggs. As soon as the larvae begins to hatch out they look for aphids to eat. In the larvae stage the ladybugs are said to look like tiny alligators and can be various colors depending on its variety. From the larvae stage the ladybug goes into its pupa stage before it emerges into a lovely ladybug. I found this ladybug chart fascinating to get a look at some of the different types of ladybugs in the adult stages.
Fall is simply the best time to get prepared for beneficial insects. The best way to protect your garden in spring is to attract ladybugs as early as possible. By planting various wildflowers and herbs in the fall you get a head start in spring. They will be the first to bloom to allure the ladybug. The favorite blooms that will attract the ladybugs are the ones with tiny white clusters of flowers. I usually plant tons of Cilantro in and around my garden. Cilantro is easy to grow and will be the first to bloom hoards of white clusters. Other plants that work wonders are things like Sweet Allysum, Yarrow and Dill. The ladybugs will then fly to flowers like Marigolds, Zinnias and Cosmos. They will lay many eggs along the way and soon you will find them in many stages throughout your garden. The next thing you will discover is the ladybugs moving in on various garden crops and feasting on aphids throughout the season.
I invite you to visit my garden to get a first hand look at ladybugs feasting on aphids. You might also enjoy visiting The Ladybug Lady for tons of fun ladybug stuff and information. Also a great site with lots of fun activities and ways to get your children involved with ladybugs is to visit The Lost Ladybug Project. It was at this site when I learned that many types of ladybugs are becoming endangered. Happy Gardening and may your garden kingdom be blessed by many Lady Beetles.
Article by Pamela Kimsey
Pammy is a organic gardener in Southeast Texas who believes diversity with natural habitats is the key to a successful garden. With a background as a commercial grower and manager for a large wholesale nursery, she became quickly dismayed with the over use of chemicals and the effects they have on life and the environment.
Pamela has written 87 awesome articles for Natural Family Today.
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