Want to Attract Ladybugs to Your Garden? Here’s How

A ladybug climbing down a leaf.

Not only are ladybugs beneficial for eliminating pests in the garden, they're cute, too! (Image: Barbro Rutgersson via Dreamstime)

You may have a terrace or backyard garden, replete with some pretty-looking flowers, shrubs, and bushes. It is natural that birds, butterflies, and other types of insects will throng to your garden from time to time, including ladybugs. However, not all insects that you see in the garden are good for the plants. Some can be potentially harmful. However, there are a few that are deemed to be good insects or that act as bioweapons and feed on harmful pests. This is where ladybugs come in.

Why your garden needs ladybugs

Ladybugs are known for eliminating harmful insects that wreak havoc with plants. There are almost 200 species in North America alone. Globally, the number of species is around 5,000. 

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They look quite pretty too. Their red and black dotted bodies are appreciated by people whose gardens are inhabited by these insects. When your garden has a good number of ladybugs, you may not have to use artificial pesticides, as the larvae of these insects gorge themselves on harmful insects like leafhoppers, whiteflies, and spider mites. So their presence is good from an ecological perspective. If you are fond of organic harvesting, having these bugs in the garden is a must. They do not cause any harm to the pants. 

Two ladybugs eating greenfly on a leaf.
Ladybug larvae gorge on harmful insects like leafhoppers, whiteflies, and spider mites. (Image: Andrey Bolovintsev via Dreamstime)

How to attract ladybugs

No matter how big or small your garden, it is not too tough to ensure that ladybugs are attracted to it. For that, you need to do the following:

Use plants that attract ladybugs

You have to keep certain types of flowering plants in your garden if attracting these pretty and beneficial insects is on the agenda. They gorge on pollen in plants like dandelions, calendula, geraniums, fennel, sweet alyssum, garlic, parsley, and yarrow. 

Use sources of water

Make sure there are sources of water available in your garden as this will attract the passing ladybugs. Keep some small bowls with water and fill them with pebbles. This will ensure they can get hydrated without getting drowned.

Offer places that serve as shelter

Ladybugs have to stay safe from predators as well. So ensure your garden has plants that serve as safe homes or shelters for these pretty insects. Plant herbs like oregano and thyme in the garden, for example. This will help them stay safe from predators like frogs and birds. You may even make a ladybug house from a small wooden box with holes in it and keep some sugar cubes inside to woo the ladybugs. 

Growing thyme, against a green background.
Planting herbs like thyme will give the ladybugs shelter and help keep them safe from predators. (Image: Darko Plohl via Dreamstime)

Avoid using pesticides

While using pesticides may be necessary sometimes to ward off certain nasty insects, refrain from using these products frequently. If you use them, it will also result in the ladybugs staying away from your garden. 

Buying ladybugs

If you want to get ladybugs in the garden without delay, you can buy them. Retaining them in the garden is not hard. Use the aforementioned tips and the insects will stay in your garden. Release them during the evening and this will ensure they will not fly away easily. It would be a good idea to release the insects in small batches scattered over the garden. This will ensure the insects will not battle over territory.

So you can see that attracting these insects to your garden and ensuring they stay is not hard. You just have to know things that work and make some small adjustments in the garden to make it suited for their habitat.

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