Sustainable Insect Control for Your Garden
Not all heroes wear capes. Some wear polka dots.
Most homeowners share the goal of having a yard that is as free from weeds and pests as possible — a yard that’s abundant with blooms and lush greenery. Whether that means fighting weed outbreaks or battling pesky aphids or fungus, Rossen Landscape can help.
In addition to our mosquito, flea and tick control, we offer programs like integrated pest management and sustainable insect control. These are effective, yet environmentally-sensitive approaches to pest management.
One method of sustainable insect control that’s growing in popularity is releasing ladybugs in a garden to help eliminate harmful pests. Certain ladybug species — including the most common one, hippodamia convergens — prey on pests such as aphids, chinch bugs, spider mites, whiteflies and mealybugs, to name a few.
In addition to being pleasant to look at, welcoming ladybugs into your yard or garden offers many sustainability benefits. Here’s what to consider when it comes to this unique and beautiful method of pest control.
Benefits of Ladybugs as Pest Control
Simply put, ladybugs are very efficient. A single ladybug can consume as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime. But they’re selective on what they go after: ladybugs won’t harm people, pets or plants.
In addition, they’re self-renewing, meaning that if they stay put and reproduce on your property, you won’t be needing another ladybug delivery anytime soon. While adult ladybugs feed on insects, they also lay their eggs among the prey so emerging larvae can feed on the insects, too.
Create a Nurturing Environment
The best way to attract and keep ladybugs in your garden is to maintain a healthy environment that offers an abundance of both bugs and pollen for them to feed on.
Make sure there are plenty of pollen-filled flowers blooming throughout each growing season. Ladybugs prefer herb blossoms and single-petaled flowers that have a flat surface on which they can land.
Also provide a source of water by either leaving out shallow dishes or making sure you’re watering regularly.
Select a Native Species
There are more than 5,000 types of ladybugs in the world, with over 400 found in North America. Depending on the species, they can be red or orange with black spots, or black with red spots. While many species have spots on their backs, some do not.
When using ladybugs as pest control, it’s important to choose a native species as opposed to an invasive one, such as the Asian lady beetle. Non-native species can become pests themselves; for example, Asian lady beetles have been known to bite both insects and humans.
The number of native ladybugs needed depends on the size of your property, ranging from 2,000 for a small garden to 18,000 for a very large garden. Your landscape professional will advise you on the correct amount for your yard.
It’s best to release ladybugs in the late evening, onto plants that first have been sprayed with some water.
Need some help controlling pests in your yard? The experts at Rossen Landscape would love to find an innovative solution that meets your unique needs. Contact us today to get started.