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Hello Only Passionate Curiosity readers! My name is Lindsey, I’m a homesteading, homeschooling Mama to 2 little ones, with one more on the way, and I blog about simple natural living over at Chickadee Homestead. And I am thrilled to be here with y’all today! Thanks for having me, Heather!
My oldest will be starting kindergarten this Fall and we are excited to (officially) embark on the adventure of homeschooling. I like to make learning fun, natural, and interweave it into our everyday lives on our homestead – and this project is a great example of that. So let’s get started!
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- 4 Simple Tricks to Attract Ladybugs to Your Garden
- How to Attract Ladybugs
- How to Release Ladybugs
- The Wonders of Nature
- Where Can You Buy Ladybugs
- How Many Ladybugs Do I Need to Buy?
- What Type of Ladybugs to Buy
- When Should I Release the Ladybugs?
- Where to Release Ladybugs?
- Don’t Use Your Ladybugs All at Once
- How to Build a Habitat for the Ladybugs?
- What Plants to Put in the Habitat
- How to Keep Ladybugs in Your Garden
- Related Questions:
- Spotted ladybirds
- Target pests
- Suitable crops/environments
- At release
- Release rates
- After release
- Cultural practices to aid establishment
- Chemical use
- Additional information
- Other natural enemies of aphids
- Learn about the plants that attract ladybugs, ladybugs are one of the most beneficial insects that much that you should invite them in your garden to repel pests away.
- Other Plants that attract Ladybugs
- Why Attract Ladybugs?
- Ladybug Life Cycle
- LADYBUG FACT SHEET & Release Instructions
- KEEP LADYBUGS REFRIGERATED (35-40°F.) UNTIL USE
- Why Ladybugs are great for the garden
- Where to get Ladybugs
- How to store your Ladybugs
- How to release Ladybugs into your garden
- What to feed Ladybugs to keep them happy?
- What are the drawbacks to introducing Ladybugs to your garden
- What is an alternative to Ladybugs in the garden for natural pest control?
- What Do Ladybugs Eat?
- What Do Ladybug Larvae Look Like?
- A walk through the life cycle of a ladybug – and answers to all your ladybug questions
- Ladybug Lifecycle Phase 1: EGG
- Ladybug Lifecycle Phase 2: LARVA
- Ladybug Lifecycle Phase 3: PUPA
- Ladybug Lifecycle Phase 4: ADULT
- Learn About Ladybugs
- Ladybug Science Lesson
- Ladybug Science Projects
- More Life Science Projects:
Ladybugs and Organic Gardening
I love to involve my kids in the garden as much as possible. Even though it’s not very big, they love to go on little walk abouts in the garden – checking on plant growth, looking for pests, and harvesting veggies! A request I often hear is “Mama, let’s go check on the garden”. They love watering too – but thanks to our new mulching method we can pretty much rely on the rain fall!
One thing we often talk about is bugs. Good bugs and bad bugs. And even at 4 and 3, these little gardeners know the difference. And one of their favorite good bugs are Ladybugs.
Ladybugs are a type of beetle, and they eat all sorts of nasty pests in the garden – like aphids, scales, and mites. So we all get very excited when we see Ladybugs in the garden! They are natures pest control, and they are great at it.
Inviting Ladybugs to Stay
With my girls’ natural fascination with ladybugs, I thought it would be fun for us to build a ladybug house and order some ladybugs to release in the garden (these are the ones I bought). You need to be careful when releasing them though – do it at dawn or dusk, and if you want them to stay in your garden, build them a house and most importantly – wait to order them until you see some pests for them to eat. If they have no natural food source, they will just leave.
Which for our purposes, wasn’t a big deal, as this was mainly for my kids to have a fun learning experience in the garden.
Building a Ladybug House
Handymen around the world will cringe at my building techniques (my husband literally couldn’t watch , hee hee!), but the goal here was simplicity! And this is simple and easy. Oh! And cheap too. But if you want to you can easily replace my hot glue gun technique with wood glue and some clamps 😉
1 – 2’x3”x1/4” wood board (board 1) (I got mine at the hardware store for about $2)
1 – 2’x2”x1/4” wood board (board 2)
Bamboo (various sizes)
Hot Glue Gun
- Gather your supplies.
- Cut your boards (or have them cut for you at the hardware store) to the following lengths and sand any rough edges:
- Board 1A. 12” B. 12″
- Board 2C. 12” , D. 3”, E. 4″
- Hot glue time! Glue A and B to C (as shown), and then glue D to make the bottom, and E to make the roof.
- Paint! We decided to let the ladybugs be our inspiration and painted it red with black polka dots – but you can be as creative as you like here – I doubt the ladybugs will care 😉
- Let it dry.
- Glue a twine loop onto the back of the house for easy hanging.
- Cut Bamboo into 2” long pieces (you’ll need a lot! probably four 6 foot bamboo sticks)
- Fill the house with bamboo sticks – after completing this project I highly recommend putting some glue on the back of the house to help keep these sticks secure….don’t ask me how I know, ehem…
- Keep filling!
- Now you’re ready for the Ladybugs!
Releasing the Ladybugs
Once the house was done being built, we released the ladybugs at dusk – we just cut open the little bag they came in and let them out right on top of the bamboo. They went right in!
And then we moved the Ladybug house to it’s rightful place in the garden and released the rest of the Ladybugs directly into the garden.
The girls had SUCH a great time doing this. They thought it was the absolute best thing ever.
I hope you and you’re kids have just as much fun with this garden project as we did!
I decided to make this an informal unit study, so we went to the library and borrowed a bunch of books on ladybugs to read throughout the week while waiting for the ladybugs to arrive. Here are some of our favorites:
Ladybugs by Gail Gibbons : This had great information on the ladybugs lifecycle, anatomy, and their impact in gardens. My kids loved it!
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle: Don’t leave out the little ones! If you have toddlers and preschoolers, this one is always fun. And it does show Ladybugs eating aphids in the garden.
The Ladybug and Other Insects a First Discovery Book: This one we didn’t use, as I didn’t find it in our library, but it looks like it would be a great one for the older kids in the family! Especially if you have an insect lover 😉
Lindsey is a modern homesteader and homeschooling Mama of two. Together with her family she lives in North Florida on 1/3 of an acre where they garden, raise chickens and turkeys, do lots of DIY, make a ton from scratch – and include natural learning experiences along the way. She’s passionate about simple, natural living, and shares those passions on her blog, Chickadee Homestead. Find her on Pinterest and Instagram.
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4 Simple Tricks to Attract Ladybugs to Your Garden
Ladybugs are one of many great beneficial insects to have in your yard. They leave your garden crop alone. Instead, they focus their appetite on garden pests like aphids and mites. Here are four simple tricks to attract more ladybugs to the garden.
How to Attract Ladybugs
1. Grow Ladybug Plants and Flowers
Ladybugs may feed on nectar if there aren’t many aphids or natural food supply to feed on. Consider growing brightly-colored flowers like cosmos, calendulas, and marigolds in your garden. The leaves of these flowering plants may also provide shelter for the ladybugs.
2. Build a Ladybug House
Provide a nice shelter for the ladybugs by placing a ladybug house in the garden. A ladybug house typically consists of a small wooden box filled with wooden pieces like bamboo canes.
The ladybug house may also attract other beneficial insects like green lacewings and bees. The insects can shelter and hibernate in these wooden structures.
3. Add a Water Source
Ladybugs also need water to survive. Provide a water source by placing a few damp paper towels in your garden. Ladybugs will also drink from plant dew so it may help to spray your plant foliage every once in a while.
4. Don’t use Pesticide
Using pesticide is a big no-no. Pesticide doesn’t discriminate between the good and bad bugs. Let the ladybugs do the pest control job for you. Did you know that one ladybug is capable of eating as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime?
How to Release Ladybugs
If you are struggling to attract native ladybugs to your garden then you have the option of buying them instead. Here are a few tips to consider if you going to buy and release ladybugs.
Release Early Evening
The ladybugs will most likely fly away if you release them when it’s hot and sunny. Wait until dusk to release the ladybugs into your garden.
Spray Your Plants with Water
Ladybugs get dehydrated very quickly. Before you release the ladybugs, spray the garden plant foliage with plenty of water for the bugs to hydrate themselves.
Store them in the Refrigerator
If you aren’t planning to release the ladybugs immediately then make sure to store them in the refrigerator. Their health deteriorates quickly when left in room temperature.
Sam Choan is the Founder of Organic Lesson. He started this site to share tips on using natural remedies at home when such options are available.
Ladybugs eat aphids. So if aphids are eating your potato plants, you might be tempted to mail-order a ton of ladybugs (yes, this is a thing you can do) to solve your garden woes. There’s a flaw in that plan, though: when you release ladybugs, they fly away.
I learned the truth about ladybugs, which really should have been obvious from the start, thanks to this video. It’s from Good Gardening Videos, a site run by garden writers and scientists who know which advice is evidence-based and which isn’t. This video tackles four myths, but there’s way more where that came from.
So if the ladybugs fly away, what can you do? The host here suggests you turn your garden into a place where ladybugs will want to live—and when you do that, you won’t need to buy any ladybugs because they’ll move in for free. To create a ladybug paradise, it helps to grow a variety of plants, avoid insecticides, and to let at least some of your aphids live. After all, the ladybugs won’t show up if you’re constantly taking away their food supply.
Watch the video for more, including the truth about adding phosphorus to the soil (it doesn’t help as much as you think, and can hurt) plus two myths about mulching.
Ladybugs are some of the most loved insects in the world. These little spotted creatures are popular for a number of reasons and as such, it’s no wonder that many people are interested in knowing how to buy ladybugs and how to take care of them.
But the big question is…
Where can you buy ladybugs? Of course, for the most adventurous of people, the answer is simple. Get a jar and go ladybird hunting out in the yard. For others, you’ll be happy to learn ladybugs can and are harvested. The ladybug harvesters capture the critters by fall and prepare to sell them to organic gardeners all over the globe.
Table of Contents
The Wonders of Nature
There are many reasons why you might be interested in buying ladybugs. They’re known for a lot of good things. To farmers, they’re very important because they eat all the pests that ruin their crops.
For many others, these insects are considered to be harbingers of good luck and prosperity. With vibrant colors and a multitude of dotted patterns, ladybirds are simply fascinating insects. And lastly, since these bugs are not at all harmful to humans, parents feel at ease with them.
Where Can You Buy Ladybugs
There are various options available for you when it comes to purchasing ladybugs – depending on what you want to use them for.
The Internet Method
In this digital age, almost anything can be purchased easily with just a click of a button. Ladybugs are no exception. Go through the selections provided by facilitators such as eBay or live Ladybugs on Amazon, that sell anything one could ask for.
For the more traditional of people, catalogs and commercial vendors do exist as well. Depending on the insects that are harming the crops, simply choose from the best variety and wait for the ladybugs to be delivered.
However, one thing to note, especially for the novice in the trade is that hungry ladybugs have a tendency to disperse upon release, as they roam around in search of prey. It is best to get the preconditioned ladybugs through the vendors. These are insects that are fed before being shipping to your location, to prevent them from flying away.
How Many Ladybugs Do I Need to Buy?
On a side note, it’s important to know about the release rates of ladybugs. This indicates the number of ladybugs that can potentially cover a specified area. For instance, a gallon of ladybugs is capable of covering 1 to 5 acres of land with little difficulty. Make an informed decision about the quantity that you require depending on the space of your garden and/or field.
a gallon of ladybugs can cover 1-5 acres of land
What Type of Ladybugs to Buy
Now that the seller has been established, determine the exact type of ladybug you require. Many factors affect this choice. These include the maturity of the insect and the environment in which the ladybug can easily be sustained.
One thing to know is that regardless of the stage in life, ladybugs are known to eat other insects, most particularly the soft-bodied aphids. Be it in the larval form, or a fully formed adult, they are extremely useful.
Adult ladybirds do have the advantage that they lay eggs in clusters, nearly up to 50 at a time. As they reproduce and give off more offspring, you get to have more live ladybugs. Then there’s also the option of buying eggs that can be planted – to hatch where there’s the greatest concentration of pests.
Whatever the preference, differentiate between the insects before making the purchase. Adults are the quintessential ladybugs we’re all familiar with. These are the red or orange-tinted insects decorated with black spots and markings.
The larvae are the beetles mainly in black and are covered with orange spots on their surfaces. They’re nothing like their more mature state, rather if one does not have prior knowledge about them, it would be difficult to know that these are even ladybugs. But upon closer inspection, their spotted bodies do appear to have a similar likeness. If you find a Ladybird Larvae, you can identify it here for most species.
Their New Home
Certain species are suitable and more liable to thrive in a particular region or climate. For example, the Harmonia octomaculata, a spotted species of ladybird would be appropriate for use in tropical areas. Similarly, another species Harmonia conformis would be a better choice for temperate regions.
In addition to the weather conditions, the range of crops and fields in which the bugs are released also matters.
Before making a purchase, research the species of the beetle to understand if it will thrive in a given land or not. The best choice when shopping for the bugs would be to select the ones native to your land. Even though the exotic species might appear as a more attractive option, they’ll only act as a competition for the local ladybugs.
What if you received Purple Ladybugs?
The Pest You’re Trying to Control
Another interesting point to think about is the pest that is the root cause of trouble in any garden. Which insect is the most cumbersome to your plants? Is it the aphids or the whiteflies?
Because one needs to get ladybirds that would primarily target the insects that are hazardous, instead of feeding on harmless creatures. The eating habits of lady beetles do vary to some extent, due to which it is pertinent to make a thorough study beforehand.
When Should I Release the Ladybugs?
Timing plays a very crucial role when it comes to releasing the ladybugs. If you release the bugs at the wrong time of the year, it might cost you valuable time and money, without yielding the results you desire. Here are a few tips to keep in mind regarding the seasons that are most favorable for releasing ladybugs.
Nearly all year-round ladybugs thrive and work towards diminishing the population of the aphids and other plant-eating insects. Due to this, you can conveniently release the ladybirds in your infested crops in just about any season, except one…
Winter is that time of the year when most every animal and insect go into hibernation. The same can also be said for ladybirds. Rather winters hold more importance to the ladybugs then simply a time to go into a deep sleep. It is also when the ladybirds’ mate, just before they hibernate.
An interesting fact is that ladybugs rely on their prey, the aphids, to determine if winter is coming. When the aphid numbers decline, it serves as a signal that winter’s nearly here. This causes the ladybirds to assemble and converge to find their mates. This mating act is referred to as the ladybug bacchanalia, and following it, the little creatures enter hibernation.
Pests vs Beetle
The more abundant the aphids are, the more time it will take to get them back under control if you succeed at all. On the other hand, if you release the ladybugs a tad too early before there are enough pests to feed on, you run the risk of losing the ladybugs. Knowing that the average beetle eats about 50 or so aphids per day, this can pose a serious problem because if there is not enough food to go around, the lady beetles will go off in search of better options.
What one needs to do is find the middle ground. When the pest population is neither out of control nor are there too few of them to sustain the ladybugs. Find a balance that delivers the best results.
Time of Day
It might sound logical to release the ladybugs during the day time when there’s plenty of light to see where the pests are and where the ladybugs need to go. Not only that, but ladybugs are most active during the early hours, so surely that’s when they will work the best?
But the opposite actually holds true. If the ladybugs are released when the sun is shining, they have a tendency to scuttle away. It has been observed that evening time’s better suited for releasing Ladybugs. The reason behind this is that the darkness of the night will allow the ladybugs to settle in better to the habitat.
The Perfect Ambiance
While the heat of the sun promotes the ladybugs to leave your garden, the cool temperature at dawn works in your favor by preventing this. The weak light allows the beetles to settle down in their new habitat and prepare for the sun to come up before they make their ascent. Another positive aspect is the morning dew on the plants that the ladybugs use to hydrate, thereby keeping them from leaving.
Following sunset, when the temperature has once again cooled down and there’s little light to see by, the tiny beetles are sure to find a place to stay the night. Both of these times are quite favorable to ensure that the ladybugs stay a while upon their release.
Stage of Life
The factor relies on the age of the ladybugs. If you happened to buy adult bugs, then there are many benefits to their release. Not only are they in their sexual maturity but they’re also quite capable of laying the eggs for the next crop of larvae to hatch forth and devour the aphids. In such a case, it’s best to release them as soon as can be near the pest-infested crops.
However, if storage is required, it’s advised to keep them in a darkened space with perhaps a small supply of honey.
On the other hand, if you went with the option of eggs, the supply should be divided into batches as the larvae are prone to cannibalizing.
What to do if Ladybugs infest your home?
Where to Release Ladybugs?
The obvious and most reasonable choice is near the aphid and bug infested area. But one cannot simply open the containers sheltering the bugs and expect them to find their targets and get the job done. Ladybirds need to be gently guided and released where they’re needed.
Keep Away from Insecticides
This goes without saying that since ladybugs are indeed insects, it is prudent to keep them away from any and all plants that have been sprayed down with insecticides. This will most likely cause the bugs to die out before they can get any work done.
Plant of Choice
Release the ladybugs where there are actual signs of infestations. Difficult as it is already to keep the ladybirds in place, using them on unaffected plants is a complete waste of time and effort. They’re also more likely to stay around plants they like already.
Dampen the Area
After the long hours of the journey to get to their new habitat, the ladybugs are likely to be dehydrated. Spray them with a fine mist of water when they arrive.
Similarly, prior to releasing them onto the plants, spray the selected plants with adequate water. Once the ladybirds land on them, they have reason to stay by drinking up until they find their way to the aphids. Ladybugs can also be tempted to stay longer in the garden by applying specialized mixtures containing sugar and yeast to serve as food for the bugs.
Preferred Area of Release
It’s common practice to release the ladybugs at the base of the plant. Take the container to the plants most affected by the pests and allow the little critters to crawl out onto the plant. Place the container level with the base of the plant or target the lower branches.
The beetles will now to make their way up to find the aphids. If you release them at the top of the plants, the bugs are liable to take off and disperse. Move among the plants in such a fashion until all the ladybirds are free and spread out through the area.
Don’t Use Your Ladybugs All at Once
Another tip to consider is that while you might be tempted to release all the ladybugs at once, it’s sensible to keep a few behind. Using too many at once is a bad move. Instead release them in short intervals, in small batches over time.
This proves to be a more effective approach as even if some of the ladybugs fly away, you’ll still have some left. A period of two weeks should be enough to kill nearly all the aphids and other such pests in your garden.
How to Build a Habitat for the Ladybugs?
Ladybugs do not compromise on their way of living. If there’s not enough food for them to comfortably live on for an extensive period of time, it’s probable that they’ll simply move on to a new place. To keep them happy and compliant in your garden, extra measures have to be taken. Home gardeners can expend or build structures that prolong their stay.
Hotel Inspired Dwellings
You can either choose to visit a store and pick out something that suits your requirement or awaken your inner craftsman and build hotspots where the ladybugs can gather.
To create a hotel edifice, you can utilize any number of materials from wooden boxes or even employ a birdhouse as a framework. The next step is to find a multitude of tubes, either of plastic, cardboard or any other sturdy material. This would serve to divide the entire structure into multiple, small spaces for the ladybirds to lodge.
The tubes are arranged inside the house, stacked one atop the other in lengthwise formation with the open end pointing out. But there are lots of types of material you can use. Natural materials work best…
ladybug paradise hotel
A point to consider is that you are using different kinds of materials without any care for symmetry or uniformity; rather you wish the tubes to be different in terms of their diameter and size.
Trim off the excess that protrudes out too much from the birdbox, making sure that at the end, you have similar sized tubes to fit inside the house. To make a more permanent setting that does not dislodge easily, glue the tubes together as you place them into the enclosure.
Once you have built a specialized abode for the little beetles, there is only the task of successfully establishing the ladybugs. A few things to keep in mind while familiarizing the ladybugs to their new home is that to remove dust and minimize the exposure to wind. You want your ladybird house elevated to a height that borders with the plants and foliage that’s preferred by the beetles, such as rosebushes.
Adding food particles such as raisins can also help to attract ladybirds. Also, the location should be such that it’s not directly in sunlight but rather shaded by trees so that it doesn’t get too warm, and in a tilted formation so that if it rains, the water can easily drain out.
Small Scale Accommodation
Requiring a little more dexterity, this lodging setup is to house small numbers of ladybirds. The tube of choice for the purpose is of bamboo that can be easily found available in a number of hardware stores. Find a stalk that is a few diameters in width and runs the length of a foot or half.
From this one single piece, multiple small tubes can be created by sawing the original stalk in half. When cutting, make sure to create slanting ends that would act as canopies for the final products. Since the tube will be hung from trees and shrubs, you would need to pierce holes at the far ends and twine a thread through for hanging. To make it especially attractive, fill up the tubes with moist raisins and replenish it as need be. Lastly, find an appropriate plant to hang it on. OR – just buy one off the shelf ready made!
What Plants to Put in the Habitat
Plan your garden from the beginning in such a way that you’re prepared for anything. Calculate the risk of pest attack and establish countermeasures. If ladybirds are your pesticides of choice, arrange methods to ensure their settlement in your garden.
Consider the foliage in your garden, particularly if you’re looking to employ ladybirds as a means of pest control. Because the ladybirds will only stay in your garden so long as there is some reason for them to stick around. The presence of Ladybug friendly plants, therefore, plays a critical role in this.
While your crops might be in danger of or are already suffering from an infestation, the other plants in the vicinity would determine if the predators of these pests are present or not.
For such an eventuality, plan ahead and grow plants that would prove alluring to the ladybirds. These can range from a variety of flowering plants to herbs.
Another important detail to consider is that since you’re already planting things to attract ladybirds, think one step ahead and add plants to your garden that would be beneficial to you, not only for keeping the ladybirds but also in a domestic and professional capacity. Make a selection that best suits your needs while also delivering extra benefits.
Ladybirds and other pollinators alike are attracted to Garlic Flowers, which are reasonably easy to grow in a garden. An added advantage is that it wards away certain pests such as flies.
Another flowering plant that is preferred by ladybugs is Geraniums. An extremely beautiful addition to your garden would be the Blue Button, also known as the Bachelor’s Button. Bearing flowers in lively hues of blue, pink as well as white, it also lures in the beetles.
Hailing from the same family as the Blue Button is the flowering herb of Candela. It attracts the ladybirds through the pollen in its edible flowers, making it a vital plant to have in your garden.
You can also consider the clustering flowers of Sweet Alyssum, that are scented and give off a mild fragrance that is quite soothing, while also calling to the ladybirds. You’ll find all these and more in my 52 plants that attract Ladybugs!
52 plants that ladybugs love
Dill is one particular herb that offers a plethora of advantages. Not only does it protect your plants, but it also helps out in other ways as well. From being used to flavor a variety of dishes to acting as favorite spots to ladybirds, when grown with tomatoes it keeps away the hornworms as well.
Cilantro is more actively used by the South Asians to add taste to their cuisine. The hordes of ladybirds cannot resist the sweet smell of this herb, therefore making it an auspicious plant to have in your collection. Then there is parsley; an herb that is commonly found in nearly every kitchen garden.
How to Keep Ladybugs in Your Garden
Those that are new to keeping ladybugs often misinterpret the complexity of such a task. If you let them loose without proper planning, there is a very fine possibility that the insects would choose to fly away.
To harbor the ladybirds extensively in your gardening space, provide for them the things that they like.
Raisins hold some measure of attraction for ladybirds. Moist raisins kept in easily accessible locations can be helpful. Ladybirds are sure to gravitate toward raisins when there’s a shortage of aphids and other soft-bodied insects.
As already discussed extensively, a wide selection of plants can be employed to allow the ladybirds to favor your garden. Not only are these plants the natural habitat that these insects prefer, but they also have additional qualities that make the ladybirds choose them.
Ladybirds need a water source to hydrate themselves. By providing them with water, either by spraying or dampening the plants, you increase the likelihood of the ladybirds settling down in your garden.
Ladybirds tend to avoid harsh or direct sunlight. Due to this, it is important to provide for them shaded areas especially in places where you placed their homes, and don’t forget to release them around dusk for best results.
Provide a Holding Pen
Cover the infected bushes, plants and other regions for a couple of days by using a tarp, netting or a plastic sheet. You can release the ladybirds on the plants either before or after covering the area; the main objective is to trap them for a short time and making it difficult for them to fly away before they’ve done the job of eating the pests! I’d recommend this bug net on Amazon
place netting over your infested plant to keep in ladybugs
Are there some insects in your garden that could prey on the ladybugs? Ladybugs are preyed on by different species of birds as well as insect-eating insects such as wasps, dragonflies, and ants. Moreover, ladybugs are also susceptible to be preyed upon by tree frogs, parasites, and mites. See the full list here
Are ladybugs a good option as organic pesticides? Each Ladybug can eat up to 75 aphids in a day, making them a great option for controlling the pest infestation in your garden or infested crops.
Are ladybugs a better option for pest control as compared to other practices of pest control, such as insecticides and pesticides? Ladybugs are the natural predators of pests and aphids. Unlike, pesticides and insecticides, they don’t harm the plants or the environment in the long run due to exposure to chemicals. Ladybugs are important to us.
Finally, I’ll leave you with this Youtube video of a gentleman releasing ladybugs into the garden. I hope this article was of help to you.
Harmonia octomaculata and Harmonia conformis
These native Australian ladybird beetles are entirely new biocontrol products. Bugs for Bugs is excited to make these attractive beetles available for targeted treatment of aphid infestations. The application of these biocontrol agents is still in the research and development stage, but where they have been observed in the field they have proven themselves to be ferocious aphid predators and we are optimistic about the potential for these organisms to be utilised to treat aphid infestations in a wide range of crop environments.
Both adults and larvae feed on aphids, however the bulk of the predation is done by the larvae. Adults have alternative food sources such as nectar and pollen and so they are less dependent on aphids (or similar soft-bodied prey). They can survive when pests are at low levels in the crop, and will search out food for their offspring, laying their eggs amongst colonies of suitable prey.
- Harmonia octomaculata: aphids are the primary target, but this species is also known to feed on whiteflies
- Harmonia conformis: this species will feed readily on both aphids and psyllids
Harmonia ladybird beetles have the potential to be employed for aphid control in a wide range of crop environments including tree crops, vegetables and ornamentals, in both field and protected situations. At this stage we have only limited experience applying these species as introduced biocontrol agents in the field and we cannot guarantee results in any particular crop. We are very keen to receive customer feedback on the performance of these predators in different situations, so please share your experience with us.
Adult beetles are supplied in packs of 30. At point of sale they are already sexually mature, ready to feed on aphids upon release and also lay eggs in the crop to kick start the next generation of hungry larvae! The beetles should be released as soon as possible after arrival. Release onto plant foliage near aphid infestations by gently tapping them out of the container. In the event of adverse weather such as extreme heat or high rainfall, they may be stored for several days before release. This is best done in a dark place at about 17°C. During storage, adult beetles should be given a top up of honey (placed on the inside of the container lid) if the original supply has already been consumed.
Spotted ladybird eggs are supplied in packs of 150 (or more). These eggs may be divided into several seperate containers to minimise the risk of cannibalism once the larvae emerge. The eggs will hatch in transit or shortly after arrival. We provide a small amount of food (sterilised moth eggs) for the ladybird larvae to feed on when they emerge, but the longer they remain confined in a container the greater the risk of cannibalism. Once the eggs have hatched and the tiny black ladybird larvae are visible in the containers it is time to release them – gently tap the contents of each container onto pest-infested plant material. It is important that you find pest hotspots to release the larvae into, because if they don’t immediately find pests to feed on they will begin to eat each other or perish.
Further research and development is required to develop ideal release rate guidelines. At this stage we suggest 1 pack of beetles per 20 to 50 m2 in enclosed situations, and 20 packs per hectare in orchards or field crops. Additional eggs can be purchased to treat any hotspots that have been identified.
A note on release rates: Unlike chemicals which generally exhibit a clearly defined dose response curve, with beneficial insects, more is always better. However, they are costly to produce and the goal should be to achieve the best results at minimal cost. We are constantly trying to strike a balance between cost and efficacy. There are many factors that should be considered including the value of the crop, the magnitude of the pest population and the activity (or otherwise) of naturally occurring beneficial species. Also unlike chemicals, where it is common to respond to pest populations that have already exceeded some ‘economic threshold’, we recommend establishing beneficials early in the life of the crop before pest populations reach threatening levels. In most cases our releases are inoculative and we anticipate that our beneficials will establish and breed up within the crop to give long term control. As a general principle, 2-3 releases of modest numbers is better than a single large release – this reduces risk, improves establishment and accelerates the development of multiple overlapping generations of the beneficial species.
After release, adult beetles should rapidly disperse throughout the treated area. They will begin to consume aphids immediately and start to lay eggs amongst aphid colonies. It may take one to two weeks (depending on temperature) before their offspring (the larvae) can be observed feeding on the pest. Regular monitoring is recommended following release to check the beetles are established. Booster releases may be needed in crops with heavy aphid infestations. Do not expect to see adult beetles readily after release. Note that the larvae look very different to the adult beetles.
Where larvae have been released into pest hotspots it should be possible to observe their development as they clean up the target pest. The larvae will grow and moult several times before pupating and emerging as adult beetles.
Cultural practices to aid establishment
Practices that reduce wind and dust will help the ladybirds establish. Avoid releasing beetles where bright lights may attract them away from the release area. In shopping centres and office blocks it is best to release beetles out of hours.
High populations of ants may interfere with the predators and reduce their performance. In these situations ants should be controlled or excluded from the crop. See our ant control blog article for more details.
When releasing adult ladybird beetles, we recommend the use of sleeve cages to aid in the establishment of a local breeding population. You can purchase our beetle bag sleeve cage product or view our tips for establishing a ladybird population blog article for details about how to make your own sleeve cage.
These ladybird beetles are very effective predators of aphids but they may be harmed by pesticides. Drift of pesticides from neighbouring areas should be prevented. Copper and nutritional sprays will usually not harm them and some miticides are also fairly safe. Carbamate, organophosphate and synthetic pyrethroid insecticides are toxic. Some insect growth regulators (IGRs) are also toxic to predatory beetles. If a disruptive insecticide has been applied, a minimum of four weeks should elapse before beetles are released. Where a clean-up insecticide spray is warranted, an application of a selective aphicide is recommended if possible.
Our spotted ladybirds are despatched by overnight courier or express post and should be received within one or two days. During transit honey or glucose syrup is supplied as food for adult beetles. Packs of ladybird eggs also contain sterilised moth eggs, providing a food source for the ladybird larvae as they emerge.
Other natural enemies of aphids
There are many natural enemies of aphids including:
- Other ladybird beetles (family Coccinellidae)
- Green lacewings (Mallada signata)
- Brown lacewings (Micromus tasmaniae)
- Hoverflies (family Syrphidae)
- Various parasitic wasps including Aphidius spp.
Learn about the plants that attract ladybugs, ladybugs are one of the most beneficial insects that much that you should invite them in your garden to repel pests away.
Ladybugs are the symbol of organic gardening and are the most beloved insects of gardeners and farmers who do not use pesticides.
Ladybugs are friendly insects they feed mainly on aphids, scales, and their eggs, they also eat mealybugs and other parasitic pests like white flies.
In their life cycle, it is calculated that they can feed on more than 5,000 prey. Lady bugs also eat pollen of a few plants so if you want to attract them to your garden, these plants are most recommended. Here we’ve listed 26 plants that attract ladybugs in the garden and you can grow a few of these plants to lure them in abundance.
Garlic flowers attract pollinators and beneficial insects like ladybugs. Besides this garlic repels pests and insects like flies and mosquitoes. Garlic is easy to cultivate and not a fussy plant.
Ladybugs are attracted towards geranium. It is one of the hardiest, low maintenance and appreciated plant that you should grow in your garden. Scented geranium also repels away mosquitoes and other bothering insects and attracts moths and butterflies.
This feathery leaf herb is not only used to flavor the recipes but also to attract pollinators and ladybugs. When grown with tomatoes, dill repels tomato hornworms. You can grow dill with vegetables and flowers. If growing in containers, remember to grow dill in deep pot as it forms long roots.
4. Bachelor’s Button
Also called “Blue Button” or “Corn Flower” this plant belongs to the aster family. Its eye-catching blue flowers and pollen lure ladybugs. Bachelor’s button flowers also come in pink and white color. These American wild flowers are easy to grow and low maintenance.
Calendula also belongs to the “Aster” family, this flowering herb is renowned for its soothing properties. Calendula flowers bloom in summer (in winter in tropics), these flowers are edible. Calendula is easy to grow and one of the flowers that attract ladybugs, they love to eat its pollen. You can even grow it in a pot and it looks beautiful in balcony railing planters.
Also Read: Best Flowers for Balcony Garden
6. Sweet Alyssum
Sweet alyssum are pretty flowers that bloom in clusters. This mildly fragrant annual is preferred by ladybugs. Growing sweet alyssum is easy once the temperature is around 60 – 65 F (15 – 18 C).
Parsley is the most common herb, it is really an easy to grow plant. Like all other umbel shaped plants it draws ladybird towards itself.
9. Queen Anne’s Lace
It is also known as “Wild Carrot” or “Bishop’s Lace”, queen Anne’s lace is a beneficial herbaceous plant. It looks similar to poison hemlock, its roots are edible like carrot. However, wild carrot is declared a noxious weed by the United States department of agriculture but it attracts wasps and bees and ladybugs.
Also Read: Weeding Tips
10. Butterfly Weed
It is called butterfly weed due to its ability to attract butterflies. This native American wild plant draws butterflies due to bright color of its flowers and nectar. It also lures lady beetles and other pollinators.
Also Read: How to Kill Aphids Organically
Other Plants that attract Ladybugs
14. Butterfly Weed
15. Common Yarrow
18. Maximilian Sunflower
Also Read: Natural Pesticides for Garden
Organic gardening is wonderful. It ensures that everything you grow is completely safe and natural, which is especially important when growing food. The only problem is that aphids like to eat organic veggies too! Having a squad of ladybugs on patrol in the garden can do wonders to get rid of common garden pests. This guide will tell you everything you need to attract and keep ladybugs in your garden and why you need to.
Why Attract Ladybugs?
Ladybugs are pest-eating superheroes! They eat aphids, mealybugs, mites, scale, and other bad bugs. And they eat a lot of them. In fact, one ladybug can eat 5,000 aphids over the course of its life!
Ladybug Life Cycle
In order to best attract ladybugs to your garden, it’s important to understand their life cycle and what they need in each stage of it. Here is a brief overview of how ladybugs hatch and mature.
Female ladybugs will lay a clutch of 10-50 bright yellow eggs on the underside of a leaf. They are careful to choose a location for their eggs that is in close proximity to a large amount of food for the larvae to eat when they hatch. Often, ladybugs will choose areas close to large aphid populations to lay their eggs, as the aphids are a good source of food. A female ladybug will lay several egg clutches per season, and can lay up to 1,000 eggs in one year!
A few days after the eggs are laid, they hatch into larvae. Ladybug larvae are not quite as cute looking as the mature beetles. They have oblong bodies with spiny bumps all over them. Their bodies are mostly dark gray or black, with some bright orange or red spots or bands. Familiarize yourself with the way ladybug larvae look so that you can recognize them when you see them in the garden.
Larvae need to eat a lot as they go through four different larval stages to reach maturity and, lucky for us, most of what they feed on is aphids, scale, mites, and other common garden pests, so if you see a ladybug larva in your garden be happy! They are already doing good work for you this early in their life.
When a larva is big enough (see: has eaten enough pests), it is ready to pupate. At this time, the larva attaches itself to a leaf somewhere safe and its body undergoes a massive transformation over the course of 3-12 days. By the end of this process, the pupae’s body has formed into a mature ladybug.
You can recognize a newly mature ladybug by the color of its body. They are usually yellow or orange when they have recently finished the pupa stage, and will turn bright red as they age.
Calendula, dill, marigold, cilantro, chives, cosmos, and yarrow are all attractive to ladybugs, so pick your favorites and plant them around the garden this year.
Let Weeds Stay
Ladybugs love dandelions! Embrace these golden-flowered “weeds” and let a few grow. Bonus: dandelions are edible and have a ton of health benefits.
Give Them Water
Leave a shallow dish of water near some of your ladybug-attracting plants so they can have a drink when they need one. Add a few river stones or marbles to the dish to give ladybugs a place to sit as they drink. Refresh the water regularly so it doesn’t run out or become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Keep it Organic
Pesticides are not ladybug friendly. Stick to natural growing techniques and everyone will be happier.
Low-growing groundcovers give ladybugs protection by sheltering them from predators such as birds and other insects. Oregano and thyme are both good options.
Plant some nasturtiums specifically for aphids. It will distract aphids from munching on your vegetables, and the aphids on the nasturtiums will, in turn, attract ladybugs who will eat them up along with all sorts of other pests in your garden. Ladybugs will lay their eggs in an area with lots of aphids because they know their young will have a food source, so allowing a few aphids in your garden can bring you a lot more ladybugs who will grow up to patrol your whole garden and keep it safe.
You Might Also Like These Posts
- What’s So Special About Milkweed?
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- Bee a Good Garden Host: Make a Bee Bath
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- Attract Pretty Pollinators with an Irresistible Butterfly Garden
Ladybirds are great to have as buddies in your backyard. In many cultures they are considered so lucky that killing one will bring sadness and misfortune.
There are about 6000 species of ladybird in the world, with around 500 species in Australia. You might know ladybirds as ladybugs or ladybeetles, but whatever name you use they are the fantastic at keeping your garden healthy.
You might think of ladybirds as being red or orange with black spots, but they can be many different colours – some are all one colour, some are striped and some are even hairy!
Most ladybird species eat insects, aphids, mites, beetle larvae, pollen , sap and nectar. They have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult beetle. The adult beetle can fly long distances to find new food sources or mating partners.
Ladybirds are very common in gardens all around Australia. You may have seen them gathering together for a feast of aphids on your rose bushes, flying across your garden to check out your herbs or you may have even tried to get them to land on your hand for luck.
Ladybirds love to eat aphids, mites and scale insects that destroy a lot of common garden plants like roses, so they are great to have in your backyard.
Planting herbs like coriander, fennel and dill will help to attract ladybirds.
Ladybirds also like to live in well-watered gardens because they need to drink frequently. Some also enjoy the occasional treat of pollen or nectar.
It isn’t just adult ladybirds that are helpful. Ladybird larvae also grow strong by eating aphids, mites and scale insects. They look quite different to adult ladybirds, so keep an eye on any clumps of eggs or larvae you find near groups of ladybirds; you might see them grow up into beautiful ladybirds too.
Be a Backyard Buddy
Some ladybirds are the brightly coloured and spotty types you might have seen in children’s books or cartoons, but there are many different types of ladybirds.
If you think you have found a ladybird in your garden, you can identify it at the CSIRO’s Ladybirds of Australia website.
- Aphids, scale insects or mites.
- Garden herbs like coriander, fennel and dill.
- Pollen or nectar from locally native plants.
But they don’t like:
- Insecticides. Any insecticides, even low toxic or environmentally friendly ones, are harmful to ladybirds and they destroy the ladybirds’ food sources. That means new ladybirds won’t have any reason to come to your garden.
- Being caught out in cold weather.
- Going without water or visiting very dry gardens.
Be a Buddy to Ladybirds
- Build a simple ladybird house in your garden so the ladybirds have somewhere warm and safe to shelter or lay eggs.
- Make your backyard a ladybird paradise. Grow their favourite herbs near any plants that are being eaten by aphids, mites or scale insects. (A pot of coriander or dill is perfect) You can even give ladybirds an occasional tasty treat by mixing some honey with water and a little brewers yeast and spreading it around the garden.
- Using any insecticides or chemicals in your garden.
- Killing ladybirds, their larvae or their eggs.
- Watering your garden during the hottest part of the day. This means all of the water will have evaporated before the ladybirds have had enough to drink.
Don’t be surprised if Ladybirds:
- Hang out together in big groups. Ladybirds keep warm by huddling together when the weather gets cold.
- Squirt out yellow goo. This is called “reflex blood”. It is part of the ladybird’s natural defence system because it is smelly and toxic for many of the ladybird’s potential predators. Don’t worry if you see them squirting reflex blood; it doesn’t harm the ladybird or you.
- Has faded spots. As a ladybird gets older its spots fade.
A few more Ladybirds facts
- A female ladybird can lay up to 2,000 eggs in her lifetime.
- Ladybirds beat their wings up to 85 times per second when they fly.
- Ladybirds breathe through openings in the sides of their bodies.
Let ladybirds control your garden pests. Ladybirds, also known as ladybeetles and ladybugs, are natural controllers of aphids, scale insects and mites which otherwise damage plants. You can be sure that if your garden has regular ladybird visitors it will receive a helping hand keeping healt..
LADYBUG FACT SHEET & Release Instructions
KEEP LADYBUGS REFRIGERATED (35-40°F.) UNTIL USE
After receiving your package of live ladybugs, leave the bag sealed and place them in a refrigerator, or other cool place. This calms ladybugs down from their shipping experience. Early evening is the best time to release ladybugs, and gives them all night to settle in, find food and water, and realize they’ve found a good home (your garden). Ladybugs are usually thirsty from their long journey and storage, and appreciate moist places to drink. If necessary, sprinkle some water around first before their release. Later on, they’ll get most of their moisture needs from eating aphids and other “juicy” plant pests.
Ladybugs like having large pest populations to eat, which helps stimulate them to mate and lay eggs. When food is harder to find, adult ladybugs may fly off, but their eggs then hatch and provide further control. (Both adults and larvae feed on insect pests.) If desired, you can keep ladybug adults from flying by “gluing” their wings shut, temporarily, with a sugar-water solution. Half water and half sugared pop (Coke, Pepsi, etc.), in a spray bottle, works fine. Spray it right in the bag the ladybugs come in, as soon as you open it. You’ll easily coat most of them. After a week or so, the “glue” wears off.
What do ladybug eggs and larvae look like? Their eggs look like clusters of little orange footballs, each laid on edge. After hatching, they’ll look like tiny black “alligators”, with orange spots. Extremely fast moving, they grow to 1/2″ long over 2-3 weeks, then pupate, usually on the top of the leaf, into another adult ladybug. One larvae will eat about 400 medium-size aphids during its development to the pupal stage. An adult ladybug may eat over 5,000 aphids during its lifetime (about a year).
When not being used, ladybugs may be stored in the refrigerator, where they live off their body fat. (Keep the temperature between 35-45° F.) They appear almost dead in the refrigerator, but quickly become active when warmed up. How long can they be stored? Usually 2-3 months, but it depends on the time of year, and some losses can be expected the longer they’re stored. During early spring (March and April) they should be used somewhat sooner, as these are older ladybugs from the previous year. During May, ladybugs should be released immediately. The new ladybug crop comes in about June 1, and these young ladybugs actually seem to benefit from refrigeration 1-2 months – it simulates winter for them. (Note: Modern frost-free refrigerators tend to dry out ladybugs in storage. For prolonged storage, your bags of ladybugs can be misted or sprinkled with water, perhaps every 2-3 weeks. Allow ladybugs to dry at room temperature until moisture is mostly evaporated, then replace ladybugs in refrigerator.) Ladybugs are one of the few insects we sell that are collected in the wild, rather than insectary grown, so we are dependant on their natural lifecycle for collections and storage. We “crawl clean” all Ladybugs before shipping to ensure that only live ones are sent out, although a small loss in shipping is normal.
In order for ladybugs to mature and lay eggs, they need nectar and pollen sources. This is normally supplied by a wide range of sources such as flowering plants and legumes (peas, beans, clover, alfalfa). If desired, you can use Beneficial Insect Food as a pollen substitute.
Suggested release rates for ladybugs vary widely – we’ve seen recommendations varying from 1 gallon (72,000) for 10 acres, up to 3 gallons per acre. You can’t use too many ladybugs, but remember that they do need time to work – ladybugs need to be released early enough in the pest cycle so they can do their job, and regular, repeated releases of small amounts are often for effective than one, very large release of ladybugs. For home use, 1,500 is usually enough for one application in a small greenhouse or garden. For larger areas, a quart (18,000) or gallon (72,000) of ladybugs may be desired. Many people store ladybugs in the refrigerator, and make regular repeat releases, perhaps weekly.
If ladybugs are used indoors or in a greenhouse, screen off any openings to prevent their escape. And, of course, you’ll want to avoid spraying with pesticides, both after release and for at least a month before. (Soapy sprays, such as Safers, are an exception – you can use them right up to the arrival of the ladybugs, and indeed, ladybugs hard outer shell seems to protect them from soapy sprays even afterwards. Botanical pesticides are ok to use if you wait a week before releasing ladybugs.)
Some people believe that ladybugs bring good luck. We hope they bring you good luck, too!
Order NOW Ladybugs (Hippodamia convergens)
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We’re having a houseguest over the weekend. We pretty much never have houseguests. In fact, this might be the fourth time in 11 years that someone has slept at our house. And this time it’s someone we don’t know, staying at our house for an event related to Mr. Much More Patient’s job.
You know how you clean your house more when someone is coming over? And even more when it’s not a very close friend or family member who will understand when the place looks like it has been recently ransacked by a gang of thugs? Well, suffice to say, I’m trying to get some things cleaned up.
Which is why I will either have to release the rest of my aphid-eating machines currently residing in my refrigerator or perhaps cover the very large orange sticker that says “Live Ladybugs” before our guest arrives. Can you imagine staying at someone’s house who you don’t know and opening up the fridge and finding a box of ladybugs? What a great first impression.
The ladybugs are fascinating to me. I got them because I found aphids on my climbing rose (‘Cancan’) on the front of the house again. Last year the aphids became a real problem and I don’t want them getting out of control again. I use an insecticidal soap on them, but that is pretty gross and seems like it requires a lot applications. Spraying them off with a hose never seems to work because they really get in the crevices of the new growth. Ladybugs love aphids, so I thought why not let someone else do the work.
This box has been in the fridge for a couple weeks.
I ordered 1,500 ladybugs from Hirt’s through Amazon and they showed up a few days later in the mail (they aren’t available through Amazon Prime unfortunately). When I saw how many were in the mesh bag and read that you can keep them in the fridge for up to five months, I thought I would release them slowly over time.
These little guys are amazing. They all seem dead when you pull them out of the fridge, but within a couple minutes they warm up and start wiggling. In five minutes they are clamoring to get out of the bag and it’s actually hard to stop them from coming.
They come in this little mesh bag.
I have found them to be quite effective as a temporary measure. I release a bunch who seem to hang around for a day or so (I’ve been releasing them in the evening according to the directions) and 90% of the aphids appear to be gone. But days later the aphids are back and the ladybugs are not. The directions said that you can “encourage” them to stick around longer by spraying them with a 50-50 mix of soda and water which sticks their wings down and keeps them from flying away. This sounds little mean, but then again I hired these guys to do a job and if they won’t stick around and do it willingly, well I might just have to stick their wings down. Don’t worry, it’s only temporary and it doesn’t hurt them (well that’s what the directions say; I doubt anyone asked them).
Look at those little guys do their job. And do you see all those disgusting aphids? Eat, ladybugs, eat!
I’ve ordered another 4,500 more ladybugs. I suspect I’m going to have to employ multiple methods to deal with this growing aphid issue (I’ve since found them on one of my Oso Easy roses and my climbing William Baffin in the circle garden), but I think the ladybugs definitely rank up there as the easiest and most fun method.
Can ladybugs really help with aphid control in your garden? You bet! Here’s how to do it, and spring is the perfect time to get started!!
Every spring, as the blossoms on the apple trees begin to open, the green shoots of the garden are getting tall, an invasion happens. It’s the aphid invasion. These tiny little green creatures can wreak havoc on new, tender, green shoots and leaves.
But there is a mighty warrior that can fight these insidious eating machines. It’s the……. ladybug.
That’s right. The cute little black and red bug (well, technically, they’re really a beetle) that is on your 2 year old’s jumper, on all those cutesy garden knick knacks that lady across the street piles in her yard, and the mascot of the third grade soccer team.
•READ MORE: If you’d like a natural bug repellent in a spray form, try this recipe for garlic pepper tea spray. Just remember, when it repels the bad bugs, it will also repel the good bugs, so don’t use it if you’re good bugs are really active!)
Why Ladybugs are great for the garden
Ladybugs are actually ferocious when it comes to eating aphids and other soft bodied insects. They are tasty treats for the seemingly gentle bug. Not only are the adult beetle great fighters against aphids, the babies are, too. Ladybugs tend to lay thousands of eggs in aphid colonies, and when the larvae hatch, they’ve got ready-made meals in the aphids.
Where to get Ladybugs
If you’re in a region where ladybugs love to hibernate over the winter, you might be able to walk up to any protected space and scoop up bucketfuls. But if you’re like most of America, you’ll have to purchase your ladybugs from a local company ( I don’t generally suggest purchasing online). Many organic nurseries or farm stores carry them. You’ll find them in the cooler in a container with what look like wood shavings.
How to store your Ladybugs
Until you are ready to release your ladybugs, keep them in your refrigerator in the original container. They’re still in hibernation mode, and you don’t want to awaken them only to not be able to provide them with what they’re going to desperately need. Coffee. No, not really, but they’re going to want water, badly.
How to release Ladybugs into your garden
1. Choose a time
Pick a good evening when it is not terribly windy nor are you expecting heavy rains throughout the next day.
2. Mist your release area generously.
You don’t have to water for an hour, but take your hose and give a good spray of the trees and foliage in the immediate area. The ladybugs are going to want something to drink before anything else they do, and you want to make sure there’s plenty of water available for them all over the yard.
Open the container and begin to shake the ladybugs out on tree limbs and established plants in your garden.
4. Be patient
Let them wake up, smell the ‘coffee’ and get settled in for a nightcap. They need to wake up from their slumber, and may take a little while to get up and moving, so be patient. They’ll soon be looking for something to drink and become incredibly active.
Fun for kids!
This is a really great activity to do with the kids. My boys LOVE ladybug release night. We release a chunk into the trees and then let them crawl on the boys as well.
Here’s a quick video that would be great to show your kids to teach them the lifecycle of a ladybug.
What to feed Ladybugs to keep them happy?
Bugs ..lots and lots of bugs and flowering plants. But if your aphids have come to stay before your flowers have all bloomed on your trees or in your garden, try this trick suggested by Howard Garrett, The Dirt Doctor:
For ladybugs to thrive and reproduce, they need flowering plants for a nectar and pollen source. Legumes such as peas, beans, clover, and alfalfa are especially good, but all flowering plants can help. Temporary artificial food can be made by diluting a little honey with a small amount of water and mixing in a little brewer’s yeast or bee pollen. Smear small amounts of this mixture on small pieces of waxed paper and fasten these to plants. Replace these every five or six days or when they become moldy. Keep any extra food refrigerated between feedings. Discontinue when a ladybug population is established. Aphids are the ladybug’s favorite real food. (Source)
What are the drawbacks to introducing Ladybugs to your garden
While we’ve never had a problem with the ladybugs we’ve released, there are small concerns that you can read here. There are no guarantees that ladybugs will stay in your area. They may decide to fly off even if you have a ton of aphids in the garden. We’ve not found this to be an issue for us, however. They stay for weeks and then move on once the food supply has dwindled. As long as they have flowering plants for pollen and nectar, lots of juicy soft bodied bugs to eat, they love hanging out! And when they’re done, they move on to the next aphid infested area to eat some more!
• Read more – Square Foot Gardening – learn from my mistakes
What is an alternative to Ladybugs in the garden for natural pest control?
As the above article mentions, green lacewings are also great for natural pest control. They can be purchased at the same gardening supply stores you can get ladybugs from. They are much more likely to stay around to control your population and don’t post the same risk a ladybug might to the indigenous population if it is a factor for you. But you have to admit, they’re just not as cute 😉
- Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening — even though it’s written from a Texas perspective, it’s one of the best guides on general organic gardening I’ve read.
- Garrett Juice – while we make this on our own, you can purchase it at local gardening centers or online. Our favorite!
- Square Foot Gardening – my favorite book on square foot gardening to make the most of your small space!
- Ladybug habitat – for the kids! Grow a ladybug larvae and release to the wild once done.
Looking for more gardening tips and ideas? Click the image below:
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What Do Ladybugs Eat?
Ladybug Eating an Aphid. Farmers Love Ladybugs
Because They Save Gardens By Eating Pest Insects.
So what do ladybugs eat? Most ladybugs are predators. They eat other insects, most of which are considered pests to humans who like to grow plants for food or beauty. They are often called a ‘gardener’s best friend’.
The most common insects that ladybugs eat are aphids, which are serious pest of plants. That’s why ladybugs can be the gardener’s best friend. They will control the pest insects in the garden without the gardener having to use chemical pesticides. Even larval ladybugs eat aphids. They also eat other insects that have soft bodies, like mites, white flies, and scale insects – all of which are pests of plants.
These Aphids are a serious plant pest.
Ladybugs mainly eat aphids,
so farmers and gardeners love ladybugs!
Photo by Jacopo Werther
However, the question of what do ladybugs eat is much more complex than this. There are exceptions to most every rule, for example sub family Epilachninae can actually be considered vegetarian ladybugs. Some of them eat fungus, like mushrooms. There are some that like to dine on mildew. Still others prefer eating leaves and can even become pests of some plants.
This Ladybug Larvae is Eating an Aphid
Still, most ladybugs are not pests. In fact, due to what they eat, most of them can almost be thought of as exterminators. After all, the majority of ladybugs subscribe to a diet that allows them to eat other pests. Hence as a group they are considered predators. At the very least, the fact that they can effectively keep a garden – and all the plants in it – free of aphids is certainly beneficial. It’s great that what a ladybug eats helps humans with the food that humans eat.
Read a bit more on Aphids:
What Do Ladybug Larvae Look Like?
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What do ladybug larvae look like? Knowing how to identify ladybugs (and other insects) at different stages in their life cycles will make you a better gardener and farmer, so come learn how! (Updated: Jan 28, 2019)
First, an embarrassing personal story…
Our first painful and guilt-inducing encounter with ladybug larvae
Many years ago when we were new gardeners, we didn’t know very much about insects. One day, as we were standing under a willow tree in our backyard, we noticed several small, spiny black and orange insects crawling down the tree trunk’s bark.
Yikes! What to do?
The insects looked dangerous, like miniature alligators. Surely, they were some sort of stinging critter that would do harm to us if given the opportunity.
What do ladybug larvae look like? Knowing the answer could keep you from making the same tragic gardening mistake that we did.
So, like good responsible humans, we smashed the small insects with our gloved hands.
A little later when we were back inside, we did some googling. To our horror, we discovered that we’d just killed the larvae of some of the most beneficial predatory insects you can possibly have in your garden: ladybugs.
If we’d known the answer to the question “what do ladybug larvae look like?” we’d never have made this mistake. Our ignorance caused an unnecessary tragedy.
Feeling completely ashamed and disgusted with ourselves, we decided to create our own “insect policy” to ensure we never made the same mistake again.
Tyrant Farms’ Insect Policy: No action without knowledge
We decided that before we ever intentionally killed another insect (or any other critter) in our garden, we’d have to go through the following checklist first:
- We had to know what species it was.
- We had to know what ecological function it served.
- It had to present either a danger to us or our animals, OR it had to present a danger to our plants that would not likely be kept in check by our predatory insects. Examples of pest insects that fall into this category: black widows, ticks (although our ducks eat them all now), Squash Vine Borers, and Japanese beetles).
Also, when eradicating a pest insect that meets all three criteria above, we use approaches that do not harm non-target species. Depending on the pest insect we’re trying to control, the remedy might be catch crops, neem oil, bait traps, or removal by hand.
What’s this scary looking critter eating an aphid on the underside of our Rosa rugosa plants? Nope, it’s not a ladybug larva, it’s a lacewing larva, another predator that helps keep pest insects like aphids in check.
A walk through the life cycle of a ladybug – and answers to all your ladybug questions
Ladybugs (Coccinellidae) are technically not true bugs (Hemiptera), which is why entomologists prefer to call them “ladybird beetles” or simply “lady beetles.” Since most people in the US call them “ladybugs,” we’ll use that name in this article.
An adult ladybug hunting insects atop an unopened flower bud.
Different species of ladybugs exist in every temperate region on earth. At least 500 species of ladybugs have been identified in the US and almost 5,000 species have been identified worldwide.
Since ladybugs are voracious predators (and quite cute), they’re popular with gardeners, farmers, and children.
What do ladybugs eat?
Ladybugs eat other insects (and insect eggs) that are smaller than they are. These tend to be pest insects that gardeners dislike, such as aphids, scales, and mites.
This is closeup of a dead aphid that’s about the size of a pin tip. Lots of small predatory insects eat aphids, including ladybugs. In this case, the aphid was killed by a tiny parasitoid wasp, which laid its egg in the aphid. The wasp larva grows inside the aphid before emerging, leaving behind a hole in the skeletonized aphid.
Without ladybugs and other predatory insects around, these pest insects can quickly proliferate, weakening or killing the host plants or even entire crops.
What eats ladybugs?
As we often see in our garden, predator may become prey and prey may become predator. Even though ladybugs are predators, they may also become prey for anoles, spiders, mantids, frogs, and other predators.
A green lynx spider was a predator of this paper wasp (itself a predator). Both of these animals may eat ladybugs (also predators). As you can see, defining what is a predator or prey is a matter of perspective.
Do ladybugs bite people?
No, ladybugs (Coccinellids) don’t bite people, but Asian ladybugs/lady beetles (Harmonia axyridis) can bite people. The two insects look almost identical. You can read about the differences and how to ID them here.
Adding to the confusion, Asian lady beetles are usually called Asian ladybugs. Both insects are predators and we see them both in our garden. Unfortunately, Asian ladybugs can often outcompete native ladybugs.
Do ladybugs overwinter?
Yes, ladybugs overwinter. Here again, an important distinction:
- Ladybugs (Coccinellids) overwinter outdoors under leaves or other debris.
- Asian ladybugs (Harmonia axyridis) are the ones that will often amass in large numbers inside your home in the winter.
Ladybug Lifecycle Phase 1: EGG
What do ladybug eggs look like?
A pregnant female ladybug will lay her eggs on the underside of leaves where food is abundant, e.g. lots of small pest insects are present.
Ladybug eggs are yellow and oval-shaped, and laid in a closely grouped cluster of about 15-40 eggs.
Ladybug eggs on the underside of a seedling at Tyrant Farms.
If you see a plant in your yard that has lots of aphids and ladybugs on it, don’t interfere! Within 7-10 days, the adult ladybugs and their larvae will likely eat nearly every aphid on the plant.
Red ants tending their flock of aphids. The ants fend off aphid predators (including ladybugs) and lap up the honeydew the aphids excrete. In this case, they even made a covered rain shelter for their aphid herd. If you have a plant being harmed by aphids, and the aphids are being protected by ants, you can simply blast them all off with a hose sprayer rather than using poisons.
How many eggs can a ladybug lay?
While a ladybug egg cluster will usually contain between 15-40 eggs, a single female ladybug can lay up to 1,000 eggs throughout the warm months from spring through summer.
How long does it take ladybug eggs to hatch?
It varies by species and conditions, but ladybug eggs will hatch within 4-10 days.
Ladybug Lifecycle Phase 2: LARVA
What do ladybug larvae look like?
Ladybug larvae look like miniature black and orange alligators, and have small black and orange spikes protruding from their bodies.
What do ladybug larvae look like? Here’s an image of a ladybug larva (late instar) in my hand so you can see for yourself!
How long does the ladybug larval stage last?
Once the larvae hatch from their egg cluster, they’ll progress through the larval stage in about 20-30 days. During that time, they become larger as they consume other insects, molting their skin as they grow.
As with butterfly caterpillars/larvae, each time a ladybug larva molts its skin, it enters a new developmental stage, aka “instar.” There are typically four instar stages before a ladybug larva is large enough to pupate.
There’s quite a lot happening on this single serviceberry branch. Ladybug larvae are hunting aphids while ants farm the aphids and try to protect their aphid “livestock” from the ladybugs.
Where do ladybug larvae live?
Ladybug larvae live and hunt on the leaves of plants, just as adult ladybugs do. Adult ladybugs can fly to new plants, whereas the larvae have to crawl to get to a new plant.
In late summer, our asparagus leaves usually end up with a temporary aphid infestation. “Temporary” because within a week, ladybugs have descended on the plant, gorging on the aphids and laying eggs. Once the eggs hatch, ladybug larvae have a feast as well and eventually the plant is aphid-free. How many ladybug larvae and adults do you see in this photo?
How many pest insects can a single ladybug larva eat?
A single ladybug larva can eat up to 400 aphids over the course of a month, which means the larvae from a 15-egg cluster could eat up to 6,000 aphids in your garden in one month.
That’s a lot of free pest control!
Do ladybug larvae eat each other?
Yes, ladybug larvae may eat each other, but usually only do so if other food sources are scarce.
This is one of the reasons we tell people that a healthy garden or farm ecosystem HAS to have pest insects present. Without pests, there is no food for predators.
Do ladybug larvae bite?
Asian ladybug larvae can bite people, but it’s unclear whether our native ladybug larvae bite people. The bites are annoying but nowhere close in comparison to the sting of a bee or wasp sting.
Asian ladybug larvae don’t inject venom, so the residual pain from their bites is short-lived. If you get bitten by a ladybug larva just give the bite a quick wash.
Where can you buy ladybug larvae?
If you want to buy ladybug larvae to introduce to your garden, you can do that here or click the image below.
However, by creating a biodiverse plant ecosystem in your garden and eliminating use of synthetic pesticides, you should also be able to attract and maintain your own large ladybug population over the course of a year.
Ladybug Lifecycle Phase 3: PUPA
The next stage in a ladybug’s life cycle is the pupal stage.
This stage is similar to a chrysalis in the lifecycle of a butterfly. A ladybug pupa does not eat.
The pupa is immobile, and undergoes a drastic physiological transformation between a soft-bodied larva and an adult, hard-shelled beetle.
What do ladybug pupae look like?
Ladybug pupae look like tiny orange shrimp attached to the leaf of a plant.
What do ladybug pupae look like? Here’s a ladybug pupa at Tyrant Farms.
How long does a ladybug take to pupate?
There is variation by species and environmental conditions, but the pupal stage of a ladybug will last between 3-12 days, after which the skin will split open and the adult ladybug will emerge.
Ladybug Lifecycle Phase 4: ADULT
Immediately after pupating, the adult ladybug’s shell will be dull and soft. The emergent ladybug will take a few hours to dry before its shell becomes hard. As the shell dries, it also gains pigment, turning into its final bright colors.
Ladybugs making new ladybugs on a pineapple leaf at Tyrant Farms.
How many insects can an adult ladybug eat?
A single adult ladybug may eat up to 5,000 insects (such as aphids) over the course of its life.
How long do adult ladybugs live?
Depending on the exact species, ladybugs can live between 1-3 years.
What do ladybug larvae look like? Now you know! Plus you know what a ladybug looks like at every other stage in its lifecycle as well.
By reading this article, you’ve helped absolve us of the guilt we still feel from ignorantly killing ladybug larvae many years ago when we were new gardeners. Part of our ongoing penance is educating others.
Thank you for asking the question “what do ladybug larvae look like?” and caring enough to learn more about the life cycle of these remarkable little predatory insects. Please share this article to help other people learn more about ladybugs, too!
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Simple ladybug science means that you must spend time observing the bugs.
Ladybug Science Lesson
What Is A Ladybug?
Ladybugs are insects.
They are part of a group of insects called beetles.
Even though they are called ladybugs, not all of them are females! In order to make baby ladybugs, there has to be a female and a male ladybug.
All insects, including ladybugs, have three main body parts: a head, thorax, and abdomen.
They have six legs, two antennae, and special compound eyes so they can see in many directions at once. Many insects have wings.
For more details about insect anatomy, classification, and habitats, visit our Insect Investigations page.
Talk about the body parts of a ladybug. If your kids caught ladybugs in the ‘Ladybug Investigation’ project, let them locate each body part on a ladybug as you talk about it.
Just like all beetles, ladybugs go through different stages of life.
Young ladybugs actually don’t look anything like the pretty red and black adult ladybugs we are all used to seeing.
If you saw one that wasn’t an adult yet, you might not even recognize it. The stages that ladybugs go through are all steps in a very complex process called metamorphosis.
(Other beetles, butterflies, and amphibians like frogs go through metamorphosis too!)
Stage 1: Egg
A female ladybug lays a cluster of tiny yellow eggs. Ladybugs usually lay eggs on leaves where there will be plenty of food for the babies when they hatch. After about one week, the eggs will hatch and small odd-looking creatures appear! (Here is a picture of some ladybug eggs on the back of a leaf.)
Stage 2: Larva
The odd-looking creatures that hatch out of the eggs are called larva (larvae if there are more than one).
They have long bodies with six legs. They are mostly black with colored spots and they look sort of like little alligators.
The ladybug will live as a larva for about two to four weeks of its life. During that time, the larva will shed its skin several times.
Each time, the skin underneath allows it to grow a little bit bigger. While it is a larva, the ladybug will eat a lot; it can eat as many as 400 aphids!
When the larva has grown as much as it needs to, it attaches itself to a leaf to get ready for its next stage of life.
(Here is a good picture of a ladybug larva.)
Stage 3: Pupa
The larva attached to the leaf is now a pupa. It will stay attached to that leaf while it changes into an adult.
The pupa does not eat or move because it stored up plenty of food in its body while it was a larva.
After about five days, the pupa has changed in incredible ways and is ready to ‘hatch’ again as an adult ladybug!
(This is a ladybug in the pupa stage.)
Stage 4: Adult
Now the ladybug emerges from its pupa as a pretty adult ladybug! These are the kind of ladybugs we are used to seeing.
It now has two sets of wings. One set of wings is the hard brightly-colored part that helps us recognize ladybugs. This hard set of wings is called the elytra (say: EL-LIE-TRA) and it protects the fragile flying wings underneath.
The ladybug has an oval-shaped body, six legs, two antennae, a head with two eyes, a thorax that is called a pronotum, and an abdomen (the part of the body that is covered by the elytra).
When the pupa hatches as a new adult ladybug, it doesn’t have any spots yet and its elytra are wet, soft, and pale colored. They will dry out during the ladybug’s first day as an adult and it will soon be a pretty bright color with black spots!
Ladybugs can actually be red, orange, or yellow! Some kinds can even be gray, brown, or all black, but they are less common, and it’s hard to tell they are really ladybugs since their spots are harder to see.
Scientists have counted over 5,000 different kinds of ladybugs in the world! Each of these different kinds has special characteristics, such as color, number of spots, and the shape and size of it’s body.
Check out these pictures of different kinds of ladybugs in colors other than red!
As an adult, the new ladybugs can eat up to 75 aphids a day. Towards the end of the summer, ladybugs like to eat pollen and some types of plants so that they can store up fat for the winter.
During the winter, ladybugs hibernate. To stay warm, they usually huddle together in groups and bury themselves under piles of leaves, grasses, or rocks for protection from winter weather. When spring arrives, the ladybugs will begin to wake up and come out looking for a tasty meal of aphids! They will begin to lay eggs that will grow into more ladybugs.
To allow kids to see ladybugs change from larva to pupa to adult, we highly recommend the Ladybug Land kit!
Also see Activity 1 in ‘Ladybug Fun’ for tips on finding and raising your own larvae.
Use this Ladybug Life Cycle chart worksheet to review the stages of a ladybug’s life cycle.
Print out both pages and let kids color the pictures, then cut and paste them into the correct spots and label each stage.
Ways Ladybugs Protect Themselves
- Their bright colors warn birds that they are not good to eat. Most birds know that red or orange colored things usually taste bad and might even be poisonous. Ladybugs aren’t poisonous, but birds don’t know that!
- They can leave a trail of fluid that comes out of joints in their legs. The fluid is usually yellow-colored and it smells very bad! Most animals don’t want to eat something that smells rotten, so this is a good way for ladybugs to protect themselves.
- Ladybugs sometimes ‘play dead’ by sitting very still when they think they are in danger. Ladybugs can tuck their head under their thorax and they can tuck their legs under their bodies, which also helps them look dead. A lot of predators will not try to eat something that doesn’t move, so this can be a good defense, but sometimes the predator won’t care if the ladybug is moving or not and might try to eat it anyway!
- When ladybugs are in the larva stage, they look fierce and mean; nothing like the cute little adult ladybugs we are used to! This helps them protect themselves. Larvae also have very strong jaws and can bite other insects.
Ladybug Science Projects
A Ladybug Investigation
The best way to learn about something is to watch it.
Scientists do a lot of watching, or observing, to learn about things, especially insects like ladybugs.
In this project, you will get to look for ladybugs and then watch them to learn about them, just like a real scientist! Make sure you get permission from an adult before you start this project.
What You Need:
- a clean jar or clear container with a lid
- a hammer
- a small nail
- a wet cotton ball
- a paper cup
- a magnifying glass
- a notebook
- a pencil
What You Do:
- Get your jar ready to hold ladybugs: ask an adult to help you use the hammer and nail to make small air holes in the lid. Put a wet cotton ball in the bottom of the jar so the ladybugs will have water to drink. Now you’re ready to start your ladybug search.
- Go outside in your backyard or to a park that has a lot of trees and plants.
- Start walking slowly and looking very carefully around trees, bushes, flowers, and in the grass for ladybugs. If you spot one, write down where you found it (examples: on a flower stem or in the grass), what color it is (bright red? orange? dark red?), and how many spots it has.
- If you want to, catch the ladybug in your jar. See if you can get the ladybug to crawl onto your hand and then into the jar. Put a few leaves or parts of the plants the ladybug was on into the jar with it.
- Look very closely at the plants the ladybug was near. Do you see any smaller bugs that the ladybug might have been eating? They will probably blend in with the leaves very well, so look closely!
- Keep searching for more ladybugs by looking under leaves, rocks, in tall grass, and on the bark of trees.
- When you find one, watch it for as long as you can. Stay a few feet away so you won’t scare it. When you’re done watching it, use your paper cup to scoop the ladybug up and put it in your jar.
- Write notes or draw pictures for each ladybug that you find. This is called gathering data. This is like collecting clues to learn more about ladybugs and will help you answer the questions at the end.
- When you have a couple ladybugs in your jar, take a closer look at them with your magnifying glass. Draw pictures of what they look like from different angles (underneath, from above, or from the side) and write down things that you think might be helpful “clues” for learning more about the life of a ladybug.
- If you don’t find any ladybugs, pick a different area to explore (try to find a rosebush or a field with lots of tall grasses). You can also observe other bugs you find. Once you’re finished observing, answer the questions below to see what you have learned!
- Where did you find the most ladybugs? Were they on leaves, on tree bark, in the grass, on flowers, or somewhere else?
- Were they in groups or by themselves?
- Based on where you found your ladybugs, what kind of home do you think a ladybug would like? Describe it or draw a picture of it.
- Did you see any ladybugs eating? What were they eating?
- What can ladybugs do to protect themselves? Do they have places to hide?
- Do ladybugs have wings? Can they fly? How far do you think they can fly?
- Do all of your ladybugs have the same number of spots? What do you think their spots are for?
- What color are your ladybugs? Why is that a good color for them?
- How many legs do they have? Do you notice anything special about their legs?
- What do their heads look like? Do they have eyes? Do they have antennae?
If you want to keep your ladybugs for a couple days to watch them some more, you will need to give them something to eat. Soak two raisins in water for 15 minutes. Cut the raisins in half, then put them in the bottom of the ladybug jar. Even though your ladybugs have food and water now, they will still be happier in their natural home. After observing them for 2 or 3 days, make sure you let them go in the place where you found them so they can get back to their normal life of hunting aphids and laying eggs to make more ladybugs!
Here are several fun ladybug activities you can do this summer!
Activity 1: Find Ladybug Larvae
A ladybug larva is a baby ladybug.
Ladybugs go through different stages, and for most of their lives they don’t even look like the pretty red and black ones we are used to seeing!
Your parent or teacher can tell you more about the different stages of a ladybug’s life cycle. Try to find ladybug larvae (that means more than one, larva means one) by looking in the same types of places as you did in the Ladybug Investigation project.
A great place to find ladybug larvae is on a rose bush. Aphids love to eat rose plants and since ladybugs love to eat aphids, many ladybugs will lay their eggs on the leaves of rose bushes so that when the larvae hatch out of the eggs, they will have plenty of food waiting for them!
If you can find some larvae and some aphids, you can collect them in a container and watch the ladybug larvae change into adult ladybugs!
Just be sure to provide them with plenty of aphids and other small insects to eat. They will also need air holes and water. Put a wet cotton ball or paper towel in the bottom of the container to give them water.
Note: Instead of using a jar, a Pop-Up Insect Habitat also makes a great home for your insects!
Activity 2: Make Ladybug Prints
Put some of the paint on the paper plate and dip the round, cut end of one half of the potato into the paint, then press it firmly onto your paper like a stamp to make a ladybug’s body.
Stamp as many ladybugs onto your paper as you want. Once the paint dries, you can finish your picture by using your thumbprint in the black ink to make a head and your pinky finger to make spots.
Use the marker to give your ladybugs wings, legs, and antennae. You might want to use other paints or markers to draw leaves, aphids, and larvae on your picture also.
Activity 3: Act Like A Ladybug
Make antennae like a ladybug’s by attaching two black pipe-cleaners to a headband (or you can make a headband by attaching pieces of string to a strip of cardboard and tying the string behind your head).
Stick a small Styrofoam ball onto the end of each pipe-cleaner. Paint the balls and the headband black.
Once it is dry, put the antennae on and imagine what it would be like to only be able to feel and smell through your feet and those antennae, the way a ladybug does!
Can you think of anything else you could do like a ladybug?
Activity 4: How Much Do You Know?
Write your own science book about ladybugs!
Include everything you know about them. One way to do it is to make one page for each thing you know about ladybugs, and then either draw pictures for each page, or find pictures that you can cut out of magazines or print from the internet.
Make sure you get permission before cutting anything up or searching on the internet!
Another idea is to ask an adult to help you take pictures of real ladybugs that you find. When you have all the pages ready, make a nice cover for your book, and punch holes in the same places in all of the pages, then use string to tie them together, or put them in a three-ring binder.
You can use this book to share what you have learned about ladybugs with your siblings and friends.
More Life Science Projects:
- Observing an Ant
- Make a Beetle
- Make a Bug Zoo
- Butterfly Feeder