Ladybugs are beautiful little insects that can be beneficial in your garden. The Black Two-Spot and Humbug ladybugs occur in the Northern and Eastern parts of South Africa, whereas the Spotted Amber ladybug also occurs along the coast. The Chequered ladybug is only found along the eastern coastline, and the Black-ringed ladybug is found in the Cape regions.
We had a look at how you can attract ladybugs to your garden and how they will benefit you.
Benefits of ladybugs in your garden
Ladybugs can serve as a type of natural pest control in your garden. They eat aphids, mites, and whiteflies, to name a few. All of these insects can negatively affect garden plants, particularly vegetables. Encouraging ladybugs to take residence in your garden may mean less work for you as well as less need for insecticides.
Ladybugs also serve as pollinators, as they like to feed on pollen and nectar. Ladybugs will even feed on powdery mildew fungus. Leaves infected with powdery mildew may gradually turn completely yellow, die, and fall off, which may expose fruit to sunburn.
How to attract ladybugs to your garden
- Provide water – Leave a bowl of water in your garden. Remember to add stones, so that the ladybug won’t drown when it is drinking water.
- Avoid pesticides – Be careful when using pesticides in your garden. Even though it will kill “bad bugs,” it will also mean the sad demise of “good bugs” such as ladybugs.
- Use decoy plants to attract aphids for ladybugs to feast on – Aphids are ladybugs’ favorite meal. While you don’t want aphids infesting your main plants, a safe way to attract aphids is to plant decoy plants nearby for aphids to eat instead of your main plants. Effective decoy plants that will attract aphids include nasturtiums, radishes, early cabbages, and marigolds.
Ladybugs, or ladybirds as they are sometimes known, can be a valuable addition to your garden as they serve as natural pest controllers and pollinators. By following the tips provided, you can encourage ladybugs to take up residence in your garden and help keep harmful insects at bay. However, it’s important to note that not all bugs found in your garden are beneficial, and some may require professional pest control. If you’re struggling with a pest problem that’s damaging your garden plants, don’t hesitate to Contact Service Master for expert assistance and guidance on the best pest control solution.