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Who doesn’t love ladybugs?

These easily recognizable, friendly little insects are yellow, orange, or scarlet and have small black spots on their wings.

The benefits of having ladybugs in your garden include being able to cut back on pesticides and ridding your flower beds of aphids and other insect pests.

Also known as lady beetles or ladybirds, the ladybug can be your best friend as a gardener and attracting them into your yard or garden will add to the beauty and joy of making your garden unique.

But if you want to attract ladybugs to your garden, you’ll have to do a few things first to start your own successful ladybug garden.

Read on to learn how to get ladybugs to love your garden.

You can purchase ladybugs online or at a local nursery and release them to start a ladybug garden.
You can purchase ladybugs online or at a local nursery and release them to start a ladybug garden.

How to Identify Ladybugs

The ladybird has an oval body and the color can vary from yellow to orange or bright red. The black spots on the wing covers also vary in number and size and a few species, such as the twice stabbed lady beetle are even solid black.

Ladybug larvae are not so easy to recognize, but have six legs and are usually blue-black with orange spots. Learn to spot the larvae so you do not accidentally spray them with insecticide or crush them thinking they might be aphid or other insect larvae.

Lady beetles like to feed primarily on soft-body and scale insects like aphids; a ladybug can eat as many as five-thousand aphids during its lifespan. A female may lay fifty to three-hundred eggs at a time, which take three to five days to hatch. Larvae take about two to three weeks before pupating into adult ladybugs.

Typically we think of ladybugs as being orange or red, but yellow or black species can also be found in some gardens, depending your climate and location.
Typically we think of ladybugs as being orange or red, but yellow or black species can also be found in some gardens, depending your climate and location.
How to Attract Ladybugs to Your Garden

Besides eating aphids, lady beetles are depend on pollen as a food source and seek certain types of flowering plants, including dill, cilantro, yarrow, wild carrot, angelica, cosmos, geraniums and dandelions.

So, to create your ladybug garden, you will want to research these plants further and be sure to plant them in your garden if you don’t have them already!

Other methods you can use to attract ladybugs include cutting back or ceasing the use of insecticides in your garden. By leaving aphids, you not only provide the ladybug population with the food source upon which it thrives, but you also avoid killing any of the larvae. Remember that the ladybugs will provide a natural check against the aphids, keeping them under control.

What you will need to start your ladybug garden:

  • Garden Hose
  • Nozzles and attachments
  • Ladybugs
  • Flowering Plants (see above for some favorite species)

Instructions for starting your ladybug garden:

  • You can buy ladybugs at your local nursery or online. This will help to get your ladybug population established. Research has proven that ladybugs reared indoors can not survive when released outdoors, so be sure you buy wild ladybugs collected from the outdoors only.
  • Keep your ladybugs moist with a few drops of water and place them in your refrigerator vegetable crisper until you release them. This will also slow them down a bit since they will be cooler.
  • In the afternoon or early evening, water your garden well in preparation; this gives them much needed hydration and helps them stick better to the plants. Its best to release your ladybugs after the sun sets to help prevent birds from eating them before they are able to settle into your garden.
  • After resting overnight and re-hydrating a bit, your ladybugs will be ready to start eating those aphids. If you have any plants that are infested with the aphids, place a bit of netting over the plants and let some of your ladybugs loose under it, where they will happily gobble up those pests!

While ladybugs eat mainly aphids and scale insects, they also depend on pollen as a food source.
While ladybugs eat mainly aphids and scale insects, they also depend on pollen as a food source.

Ladybug Facts

  • The black spots on their wings fade as they age
  • Ladybug wings move very quickly, like a hummingbird’s, as much as 85 times per second in flight
  • A ladybug can live for up to three years
  • The male ladybug is smaller than the female
  • Long ago, doctors used mashed-up ladybugs to cure toothaches
  • The Swiss call ladybugs “Good God’s Little Fairy”
  • The Ladybug is the state insect in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Delaware, Tennessee and Ohio

Comments

97 comments
  1. Leanne
    December 14, 2010

    To Laura, from August 2009. I have sprinkled maize meal around my garden, but the ants don’t seem to want to take it back to their nest. Do they know it is bad for them? Are there any tricks to make it more palatable for them?

    Leave a reply
  2. megan
    January 22, 2011

    i love ladybugs

    Leave a reply
  3. Laura
    January 28, 2011

    i live in wi also. the asian beetle is a flippin pest around here. the governments WORST idea ever. my house is crawling with them and the boxelder beetle. for all you lady bug lovers, come to my house for a day and see for yourself. they smell horrible and they bite hard. i have twins a boy and a girl 6 mo. old. and i am so sick of them. i was a ladybug lover. never killed one, always helped them out of my house, but since i moved to wi, i have grown to hate these little pests, and it is really hard to tell the good ones from the bad ones. i kill over 100 beetles every day in my house. but if you guys would like them, send me an e-mail or something, i will gladly collect them for you and mail them. i don’t enjoy killing them, and i do think torching them with lighter fluid and such is a bit much.. but i must say, i am sick of them. sorry to all of you who don’t understand, but try living in wi for a few days. were infested, we dont need to go to the garden store to get ladybugs. just go in your garage and get the shop vac out and dump em on ur plants if they are not infesting them already.

    Leave a reply
  4. Chris Gardener
    January 30, 2011

    The yellow lady bug in the picture above doesn’t eat aphids or any other bad guy. They eat fungal spores. You can often find them on cucumbers eating all the powdery mildew on the leaves.

    Leave a reply
  5. VIDAR
    February 22, 2011

    Lacewing eggs ARE MUCH BETTER!

    Leave a reply
  6. Linda Bollinger
    March 6, 2011

    I have so many ladybugs this time of year that my grandchild will not come sleep over because they fly and crawl all over the upstairs of my house. I wish I could find their nest, I would send the whole thing to someone who wants them.

    Leave a reply
  7. Juanita Kocanda
    March 11, 2011

    We have these bugs inside swarming on a southfacing window…other than collecting them and drowing in soapy water, is there an attractant to get rid of them…as soon as the sun comes out, they are everywhere in the house. We can’t figure out how they get in as the windows are tight…any ideas would be most helpful, as this has been going on for the past two years, nothing before that. Help please!

    Leave a reply
  8. Heather
    March 29, 2011

    I would love some ladybugs for my garden! The aphids aren’t responding to the cayenne/peppermint stuff I mixed up, and I’d rather not use pesticides. If you want to send them, email me at [email protected] and I’ll provide an address! Thankyou!

    Leave a reply
  9. Ladybug Grls
    April 3, 2011

    My sister that nine and myself that’s twelve are trying to have a little ladybug habitat and we found one ladybug. My sister is out trying to find ladybugs now and I was planning to go to Jerry’s and buy a big container but I don’t know if they have them in stock. Oh well…

    Leave a reply
  10. CathyC
    April 4, 2011

    Dude!!! You have a ladybug business opportunity!!! Take it!!

    Leave a reply
  11. Stacy
    May 15, 2011

    From what I understand Asian Beetles and Ladybugs are two totally different things . . . Asian Beetles let off a stink and invade indoors when the weather cools . . . don’t quote me, but I think they were imported for some reason or another, in the mid-west, and then they didn’t have any natural predators . . . population out of control. Another word for that is ‘pest’.

    Leave a reply
  12. Stacy
    May 15, 2011

    They aren’t true lady bugs, they just look similar. NOT going to do the job that is being referred to here.

    Leave a reply
  13. Obama Rocks
    May 21, 2011

    First, what on earth does “Obama” have to do with this.
    Second, burning living things is how you get your thrills?
    Third, it’s “beetles” you moron, unless you’re also badmouthing the greatest music group that ever existed.
    As such, you are an imbecile on all counts.

    Leave a reply
  14. mary
    June 4, 2011

    this really helped i have a huge ally…. there are a lot of plants that are flying with aphids! so there are a lot of lady bugs.. i set out every evening with my cousins and look for them.. I’ve made a habitat for them it works awesome! i had have them for 3 years now.. sadly some die after their life cycle ends but some actually have lived really long! i also set out and look for aphids every afternoon to make sure they have enough to eat because i have about 53 lady bugs! so if your planning to do something like this this year it a great opportunity! message me at [email protected]! for help!

    Leave a reply
  15. Madison
    June 19, 2011

    True That Kidd 🙂

    Leave a reply
  16. Cayla
    July 7, 2011

    I WISH I HAD YOU’RE GARDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Leave a reply
  17. Cayla
    July 7, 2011

    I mean The people with 1,000s of ladybugs!!!!!

    Leave a reply
  18. kate
    July 25, 2011

    Here is a very informative piece from the Florida extension service on the asian ladybug: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in361 It is a beneficial insect (though unfortunately introduced at the expense of native species) and a nuisance at the same time. Vacuuming and disturbing them causes them to release a defensive substance that stinks and stains fabric, so it seems that it would be best to be gentle with them. Native species also like to harbor in homes, but I guess not to such as degree!

    Leave a reply
  19. Cath
    July 29, 2011

    After reading the article link below, I understand why the people from Wisconsin or other states complain about the infestations. It appears the Asian ladybugs are the stinky ones that bite. Personally, I’m in South Texas and we lack any type of ladybugs. I have ordered ladybugs every spring for the past 3 years from 3 different local nurseries and to my knowledge none of these nurseries sell us Asian ladybugs(which is good). I managed to have most of my ladybugs stay in my garden, but I know for a fact my ladybugs are not Asian and they are not a nuisance in anyway. No stink, no biting.

    http://allergies.about.com/od/specificallergens/a/asianladybugs.htm

    Leave a reply
  20. Lisa
    September 3, 2011

    I think Stacy is right. Those beetles that are swarming houses in Wisconsin are out of control and invasive. Don’t send them to other parts of the country. Euthanize them!

    Leave a reply
  21. Joe
    December 9, 2011

    i’ll take some lady bugs or asian beetles. i’m in florida

    Leave a reply
  22. joe
    December 9, 2011

    anyone getting rid of ladybugs my email is [email protected] or 954-709-2382

    Leave a reply
  23. Justin Brim
    February 17, 2012

    I love lady bugs being in my indoor garden i buy 1500 every month and about 3000 if the bad bugs get out of control. they help out a lot and they kinda tickle lol. but im always looking for free bug so if anybody want to sent bugs id be happy to take them off you hand as long as they are lady bugs not those damn asian bettles. [email protected]

    Leave a reply
  24. Darla
    March 1, 2012

    send a shop vac full of ladybugs for free. yeah-right!

    Leave a reply
  25. jojo
    March 10, 2012

    i think ladybugs are so cute!!!!!!!!!

    Leave a reply
  26. elizabeth
    March 11, 2012

    i have only 1 ladybug but i want 2 find more , so i can have a friend please help me where can i find it? (in my back or front yard ) thax .

    Leave a reply
  27. elizabeth
    March 11, 2012

    please HELP i need 2 find more lady bugs b’cause i onlt have1 & i want my ladybug to hav a friend . (front or backyard .) thax.

    Leave a reply
  28. keyralove
    March 28, 2012

    I hate asian ladybirds, but I love the (british) native (red) ladybirds, but none will come to my garden

    Leave a reply
  29. Ivan
    April 3, 2012

    Take a walk around your neighborhood.

    Chances are someone (unknowingly?) has a more favorable living / breeding environment and is attracting your ladybugs.

    Look around and pay attention to the vegetation. I doubt those bugs are getting too far.

    Leave a reply
  30. Carlos
    April 23, 2012

    you can send them to me, at the following address, but contact me before you send them so I can be waiting for them, first! Here is my address, 1571 Puritan St. Deltona, Florida,32725

    Leave a reply
  31. Joyce in NM
    October 7, 2014

    I have tons of lady bugs that live in my garden. I think the key is never using pesticides and planting some natives to attract them. I do everything the easy way, I just let some of the wildflowers grow at the back of our property and it really helps the population of all insects-butterflies, bees, and lady bugs in my yard. No need to buy them, have a nice selection of plants and they will come. Sweet allysum seems to attract them to my yard.

    Leave a reply
  32. Allison Lansberry
    October 7, 2014

    FYI…In Europe & Britain they are called Ladybird beetles. “Ladybugs” are an American term

    Leave a reply
  33. ladeebugged
    October 11, 2014

    Wayne probably also watches Fox news…

    Leave a reply
  34. kava koop
    December 12, 2014

    Did you put a fine netting over the plant to encourage them to stay?

    Leave a reply
  35. Marianne
    December 21, 2014

    Those are not lady bugs!! I forget what they are called but they ARE pests.
    The STINK is what gives them away.
    Try googling it.
    Try stinky lady bug???
    They are also difficult to get rid of, if I recall correctly.
    Good luck.

    Leave a reply
  36. Gail
    January 9, 2015

    Orange ladybugs are mean. I’ve been bitten by them.

    Leave a reply
  37. Tricia
    January 9, 2015

    Dan, you said it perfectly. AND gave me a good laugh. Good for you. Wayne, why you got to be so nasty?

    Leave a reply
  38. Kim
    January 10, 2015

    Don’t Ship these!! They LOOK like ladybugs, but they are a completely different, invasive pest species! The native, beneficial ladybugs don’t bite or stink!

    Leave a reply
  39. Kg
    January 10, 2015

    Probably that asian orange type….not true ladybugs contact local farm extension office.

    Leave a reply
  40. Tony
    January 18, 2015

    Ladybugs are always welcome visitors to the garden, but I would never introduce them in MASS to control aphids because they also eat monarch butterfly eggs. Once you unleash biological pest control, it’s hard to “take it back”

    Leave a reply
  41. River
    June 15, 2015

    If the lady bugs aren’t working for getting rid of aphids, plant some Nasturtiums close to your garden. Aphids love Nasturtiums and will attract the aphids to them and away from your other plants

    Leave a reply
  42. Tammy
    June 20, 2015

    mix 1 part soda and 1 part water. Spray on the ladybugs before releasing them.

    Leave a reply
  43. KD
    July 14, 2015

    you can make a recipe from YouTube that really does kill ants. It’s made with sugar and borax with a bit of water.. Shake it up and poke holes in the sides of a container with a lid. Leave it near your ant problem and they take the pieces back to their nest. Just type in natural ant killer recipe on YouTube.. Add water bit by bit slowly so as to not soak it too much otherwise it turns into a syrup. It still works to kill the ants but it’s easier for them to carry it back yo the nest.

    Leave a reply
  44. Smithg320
    July 17, 2015

    Your weblog is 1 of a kind, i really like the way you organize the topics. dbddgeddadfgakkd

    Leave a reply
  45. Pooh
    August 6, 2015

    Wayne I would never brag about being abusive . You sound like a violent thug.
    Why don’t you go on eBay and sell the lil lady’s . When I read your response I felt like I was watching the news again. So sorry the lady’s bugs go neat you . ??

    Leave a reply
  46. Patti
    August 12, 2015

    I feel the same way Dan. That is awful what he does.. just call a local nursery I am sure they would humanely take them.

    Leave a reply
  47. Darlene
    August 12, 2015

    Are you sure they are ladybugs and not stink bugs?

    Leave a reply

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