Ladybugs are Lovely for your Garden

a large group of ladybugs on a chard leaf in a garden

Ladybugs eat plant-sucking insects called aphids. Releasing ladybugs in your garden will control the aphids and other pests from ruining your precious plants.
During May, ladybugs should be released immediately.
You can’t use too many ladybugs, but remember that they do take time. It’s important to release them early enough in the pest cycle so that they have time to be effective.

Ladybugs like having large pest populations to eat, which helps stimulate them to mate and lay eggs. Both adults and larvae feed on insect pests. One larvae will eat about 400 medium-size aphids during the development to the adult stage. An adult ladybug can eat over 5,000 aphids during its year lifetime.

You’ll want to avoid spraying with pesticides, both before and after they are released for about a month. Soapy sprays are an exception since ladybugs hard shells seem to protect them.

Early evening is the best time to release them; it gives them the night to settle in, find food and water supplies and decide they will stay in your garden. Providing a few moist places for them to drink or even sprinkling some water around first before their release is a good idea. Later, they will get their moisture needs from aphids and other pests.
In order for them to lay eggs, they need nectar and pollen sources from your plants.

When they are not being used, store them in the refrigerator (between 35-45 degrees F.)