Monday, May 27, 2013

We Love Ladybugs

Have we mentioned how much we love ladybugs? These cheerful insects have a lot going for them--in addition to their charming good looks and uncanny ability to congregate in your window sills,  ladybugs are great beneficials!

What does that mean? A 'beneficial' is an insect that benefits your garden by reducing the populations of pest species. For the environmentally-conscious gardener, encouraging ladybug populations in your garden means that you can control the populations of undesirable insects that harm your plants (like aphids, scales and mites) simply by letting the ladybugs eat!

Introducing ladybugs into your garden is an easy, environmentally responsible way to control pest damage in your garden. You can purchase ladybugs from your local garden center (including our garden center if you're a Richmonder) and bring them home to your landscape. We recommend giving your garden a quick squirt with the hose just before setting your new ladybugs free so that the damp foliage entices them to get comfortable. Ladybugs do best in their new environment when they are released in the evening.

The ladybugs that we offer are 'pre-conditioned' which is an important distinction to look for when you are purchasing your ladybugs. Basically, pre-conditioned ladybugs are more likely to stick around your garden than to disperse to find insects to eat. When ladybugs become active for the season, their instinct is to disperse. Pre-conditioned ladybugs are already somewhat active and are therefore less likely to leave your landscape!

If you've seen aphid damage in your garden before, we recommend introducing ladybugs soon. Don't let the damage get too bad before you bring in the beneficials- while ladybugs are great at reducing future pest feasting, they can't do a thing to reverse existing damage!

Happy Gardening!

No comments:

Post a Comment