Tag Archives: ladybugs

Ladybug Summer

Today I was so excited to find ladybug larvae on my roses.  I was making the usual weekly rounds, dead-heading, checking things out, snipping out leaves with black spot and scouting for aphids.  Normally when I find a cluster of aphids I strip them off the leaves with my fingers (yes, I wear gloves).  Today as I was brushing them off I noticed a few ladybugs nearby.  And then I noticed there were still a few insects tenaciously hanging onto the stem, but they weren’t aphids.  Upon closer inspection I discovered they were the larvae of ladybugs, little aphid-munching machines. I was thrilled that beneficial insects were hard at work in my garden. I was also glad that I hadn’t sprayed any chemicals, not even Neem oil, onto the roses. The circle of life, happening in my yard! When people don’t have a lot of time it’s just easier to get a bottle of something and spray the roses when insects appear.  But if you really love your plants, you have to take a close look at them.  Spend time with them. Give them an afternoon.  That’s when you see what’s happening in the garden.

 

Aphids for dinner

 

Tonight I released hundreds of live ladybugs on aphid-covered roses.  They had been in a plastic container in a fridge for months and as soon as they began to warm up, they were active and hungry.  They swarmed out onto my hand, wrist and up my arm.  To have any other bug crawling all over my skin would have been more than unsettling.  But something about these bright little beetles makes it okay.  Especially since they are so polite as to have ‘lady’ in their name.  But these little beauties have a dark side.  They are amazing predators.  Feasting, munching, chewing and lunching on aphids, those bad bugs that suck the life out of our plants.  By the end of the ladybugs life, they can consume up to 5,000 aphids.  Busy little bugs.  This web site (http://www.ladybuglady.com) has all kinds of info on ladybugs.  If you are looking for an organic pest control, try ladybugs in your garden!