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Ladybugs: Your Backyard’s Best Friend (And Foe!)

ladybug contol

What’s the first image that comes to mind when thinking of a ladybug? If your answer involves a picture of a grandchild dressing up as one for Halloween, or making a wish on one as a child, you’re not alone.

Ladybugs, unlike other pests, are often paired with positive memories, and typically thought of as harmless creatures. And with their delicate wings and beautiful black-spotted backs, it’s hard to image them as anything other than a pretty creature.

But when it comes to your backyard, these gentle critters can offer more than just good luck. They can help combat destructive pests like aphids, mites, and scale. Here are a few ways you can attract (and keep!) ladybugs in your backyard.

Plenty of Pollen

Like all pests, ladybugs need to eat, and they have their favorite meals. To attract ladybugs to your backyard or garden, consider including a few pollen plants in the area. These plants are usually white and yellow, and their flowers are typically umbrella shaped. Good options include fennel, dill, wild carrot, and dandelions.

Nearby plantings of these can help attract ladybugs to your backyard and help maintain a pest free garden.

Other bugs are good, too

In addition to pollen plants, ladybugs also feed on other bugs and pests. While the idea of more pests in your backyard might not sound pleasant at first, introducing a few other pest-attracting plants to your garden will benefit your garden in the long run.

Plants like marigold, radishes, and early cabbage will attract unwanted pests, but can also work as a decoy. Aphids will gravitate towards these plants instead, leaving the plants you’re trying to protect pest free while ensuring plenty of food for ladybugs.

Complete their basic needs

While ladybugs need food to survive, they also need shelter and water. Be sure to leave a few shallow bowls of water around the backyard, and remember to replenish and relocate the bowls too, as deep, unmoving bowls can attract unwanted mosquitos.

To offer some protection for the ladybugs, include a few low-growing plants like oregano and thyme to your garden.

Use your purchasing power

If you’re still having trouble attracting the ladybugs to your backyard, consider purchasing and releasing them into your garden. Most specialty garden stores carry them, or you can order the bunch online as well.

Simply purchasing the extra ladybugs won’t keep them in your garden, though. When it comes time to release them, be sure to prep your backyard accordingly. Food, water, shelter, and eco-friendly pest management will not only attract ladybugs but will keep your newly released bugs there too.

Call for backup

Whether the ladybugs prefer another garden to yours, or you don’t have time to wait, ABC is there to help combat those unwanted pests. Our experienced team will provide you with a customized treatment plan to ensure your favorites plants, and your entire backyard remains pest free all summer long.

Les Stobart

Les joined ABC in 2008 as the Director of Marketing, overseeing marketing, advertising, and communications for ABC’s branches. Les started the Lean Line, Online Chat departments, and manages corporate recruiting. He has a Bachelor of Science in Communications & Advertising from Lamart University. He has been part of the Texas Banking Association, a Financial Literacy Volunteer Teacher, ABC Kite Fest Board of Directors, a Town & Country Youth Soccer Coach, and a Neighborhood Sports flag football coach.

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