Beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and mason bees, provide important garden services. They play a big role in organic pest control and crop pollination. You can attract these beneficial insects to your garden by providing habitat for them in the form of bug houses. Bug houses can be purchased online (see left photo), or you can build your own with materials found around the house.
In my fist lady bug episode, I was going to bust out the big guns on my aphid problem with a plastic bag of red speckled whoop-ass. I let the ladybugs go in my greenhouse, and waited to see what happened.
Did Releasing Ladybugs Work?
No. At least, not yet. Its been three weeks, and I still have a severe aphid problem. The bag originally had 1500 ladybugs in it, Today I counted about 10 that I could still see in the greenhouse.
I have a little problem in my greenhouse. At first there were only a few black dots on the miner’s lettuce. I went into denial. Surely, I thought, because it is December, I can’t have aphids. But yes, indeed, there they were. I was hoping a cold snap would come along and nuke them all and I could relax again until spring, but nature did not deliver. Instead we got December temperatures in the 80’s. Ignoring the problem wasn’t working and they finally swamped my plants so bad I could no longer let them have the upper hand. It was time to make some decisions and go to war. Because I am committed to raising my plants organically, pesticides were off the table. Manual removal by way of smashing was only denting the population for a day or so. I have heard of soaps and other things, but I didn’t want to wash anything off my foliage if I didn’t have to, organic product or not. So, I turned to the ravenous wolves of the aphid world: ladybugs.
Predator and Prey is Nature’s Way: Beneficial Insects