If you build it…Ladybugs will come!

Sometimes you need a little help in your garden. Before you reach for the toxic stuff try calling in an army. An army of Ladybugs that is.

Photo from https://marksolock.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/ladybug-eating-aphid/

Photo from https://marksolock.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/ladybug-eating-aphid/

These bright colored beauties can do wonders in your garden. Ladybugs are beneficial insects and inviting them to your yard is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Step 1) Find an old PVC pipe, roof drain, broken ceramic pot, anything that is in the shape of a tube and longer than 10″. (“that’s what she said” ) Look for things you can reuse or upcycle.

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Step 2) Fill that cylinder with sticks of all sizes, nothing fancy, just sticks you find around your lawn, vary the thickness and length (yeah, it would totally work here too). Make sure there is some room inside, you don’t want the sticks super tight together, but tight enough that your friendly neighborhood squirrel doesn’t push out all the sticks looking for step three.

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Step 3) Place a few raisins inside the cylinder with the sticks, or you can put a touch of honey on one of the sticks, not much just enough to invite the ladybugs inside. Then, hang the whole thing in a tree, or set it a bit off the ground near the area of the garden in need.

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In a few weeks you will have an army of ladybugs and their not so cute larval children eating away at the bad bugs in your yard. Keep in mind that even though the larval stage doesn’t look like a ladybug it is, so don’t kill it.

Also, ladybug eggs are small yellow clusters, if you see those in your garden it’s a good thing. The cylinder will provide a house, food, and a place for the young ladybugs. You can make it as fancy or simple as you’d like.

You won’t have to keep feeding them at this point because they will be eating the bugs you didn’t want, you will both  be thrilled with the new arrangement.

I had a full grown tree with white fly, I thought I was going to loose the tree it was so bad. I sprayed the white fly with soap and water, rinsed the tree off, then gave the tree a few ladybug houses. I never had white fly in that yard again! I did have hundreds of ladybugs and they are the ones that got rid of the white fly, then turned to the aphids, and then the scale. That yard needed a lot of love when we got it, and my army of ladybugs made the garden beautiful. True story.

Keep in mind that we planted a very diverse yard with tons of biodiversity, and we never ever use any chemicals, pesticides, or commercial fertilizers. We followed the process of nature and it worked really well. If you do use chemicals the likelihood of seeing beneficial insects is greatly reduced, your results may vary.

Sometimes you need to let things in your yard die and decline while nature resets itself. That is exactly what we did in that yard, and to this day it still looks fantastic, because they allow nature to do what it does best, it really does know.

The rewards of doing so are huge, more time on your hands, free labor from beneficial bugs, and a gorgeous yard.

Call in the troops!

Enjoy!

S

Ladybug

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