Ladybugs for Garden  Pest Control

Most of us know that classic rhyme from childhood, but adults, particularly gardeners, have a new-found appreciation of the humble ladybug.

That’s because certain species, including the most common one – Hippodamia convergens – prey on pests. There’s at least one Internet website that refers to ladybugs as the “Tyrannosaurus Rex” of the Insect World because of its predator tendencies.

Like many insects or animals, ladybugs, while useful, are misnamed. It isn’t a bug, but a beetle. Beetle lore has it that the ladybird beetle – as it’s known in Europe – was named after the Virgin Mary in the Middle Ages.

With that many species, it’s no surprise that ladybugs come in many shapes and sizes. Usually when we think “ladybug” we think of a red-orange creature with black spots.

The beneficial species of ladybugs eat aphids, chinch bugs, asparagus beetle larvae, alfalfa weevils, bean thrips, grape root worm, Colorado potato beetles larvae, spider mites, whiteflies, mealybugs, among other insects.

Worried about your ladybugs flying away home? Reportedly spraying their backs with soda pop and water will “glue” their wings shut so they can’t fly.

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