They land on our finger tips, scurry across our dashboards and even find their way between the pages of our books. That’s right; the season of ladybugs is upon us. Fear not – they’re here to help!
With their dewdrop bodies and ink speckled backs it’s hard to resist the charm of the lady beetle. Their common name is quite the misnomer as there are plenty of “gentlemen” bugs mixed in with the ladies and any entomologist will tell you that they are not “true” bugs anyway (whatever that means). Despite their misleading titles, ladybugs are a boon to gardens and the gardeners who tend them. Possibly the least menacing insect around, they seem content to shuffle their round little bodies on tiny legs that never seem to be in a hurry. But don’t be fooled by their gentle nature! While completely harmless to humans, these bugs are vicious when it comes to destroying aphids, a common and destructive plant parasite and a gardener’s worst nightmare. They spend their lives fighting the good fight against aphids and a plethora of other pesky plant mites while also finding time to lift our spirits and inspire our imaginations. They can gather in impressively massive groups, coating porches and trees in breathtaking (if sometimes inconvenient) displays. But even these large ladybug conventions are cute in a way – a group of ladybugs is called a “Loveliness” after all. Who wouldn’t want a team of lovely red soldiers protecting their greenery? If you’d like to invite ladybugs to your garden try planting flowers and herbs that attract them such as Speedwell and Achillea. Another useful item sure to win your little ladies’ hearts are ladybug lofts. Since ladybugs don’t make nests or burrows a simple enclosure is a great way to protect your little aphid-eating friends from the elements. They’ll be safe and happy and so will your garden!