O.P. Garden Club reminds everyone ladybugs are friendly

By Carolyn Warren Chairman/Gardner for Birds, Bees, Butterflies
Posted 9/23/20

ORANGE PARK – Ladybugs are beneficial garden insects.

These insects are considered a gardener’s best friend because they feed on insects that are harmful to plants, such as aphids, scale, …

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O.P. Garden Club reminds everyone ladybugs are friendly

Posted

ORANGE PARK – Ladybugs are beneficial garden insects.

These insects are considered a gardener’s best friend because they feed on insects that are harmful to plants, such as aphids, scale, mealy bugs, mites and whiteflies. Not only are they helpful for a homeowner, but farmers also love them because they eat aphids and other plant-eating pests when growing vegetables, grain crops, legumes, and strawberries. When pesticides are not sprayed on any of these plants, ladybugs will be in abundance.

Here in Florida, there are many species of ladybugs. A hungry adult can devour 50 aphids per day and can eat as many as 6,000 insects in its lifetime. They are pretty, graceful, and harmless to humans. Most ladybugs in Florida overwinter as adults beneath leaf litter, under rocks and bark. How do you attract ladybugs to your garden? Plant herbs such as cilantro, chives, dill, fennel, mint, and garlic; and, flowers such as coreopsis and cosmos. You can add a habitat to attract ladybugs by leaving weeds in patches outside your garden.

The most familiar ladybug adults are usually red or orange with black markings. There is also an orange colored ladybug with no markings which is in this photo taken in my garden. The picture shows this ladybug eating aphids on a milkweed plant leaf.

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