Helper Bugs and Menaces: Ladybug vs. Aphid
Why should this matter to organic gardening?
When the word ‘bugs‘ is mentioned, images of nasty critters crawling, flying, and interrupting picnics usually enters the forefront of one’s mind. However, in organic gardening, some bugs can be viewed as good little helpers. Among the favorites in the category of helper bugs, we have the ladybug. Their foes, the aphids, on the other hand, are the types of insects that give bugs a bad name.
Ladybugs are known as one of the most “beneficial bugs” in the ecosystem, and of course, in the garden. They eat the aphids, which is a very good thing for your organic garden, as aphids are known to suck the sap from leaves and to eat the buds of plants. This can often cause a black fungus called “sooty mold” to grow on certain plants, causing damage to plant leaves. They can also cause mutations and even stunt the growth of some foliage, allowing for the poor blooming of flowering plants. These harmful invaders come in multiple variations, but they are all predators of the garden.
Ladybugs are the friends to farmers and gardeners for their great work in protecting crops from those nasty aphids, no matter how many there are. See, aphids often attack in colonies. Luckily, ladybugs are also high in numbers and have a natural knack for defeating them and saving the plants so that they are ready for human consumption.
So how do you get ladybugs to come to your garden?
One of the best methods is to plant something that they will respond to, including Queen Anne’s Lace, butterfly weed, tansy, and goldenrod. That way, they will be naturally drawn to your yard, and if there are any aphids in the way, they can keep them out. Ladybugs are known to stick to their colonies, masses ranging in the thousands, so you know there will be many helpers to assist you in getting rid of those nasty aphids.
Ladybugs can also be purchased. A whole lot of them can be found on various websites and even in some shops. That way, you can bring them home and put them in your yard or garden where they will work hard to keep those pesky aphids out. However, a word of forewarning: when purchasing ladybugs, they can often disperse and not stick to their natural clan as they do in the wild. For that reason, if possible, always attract ladybugs naturally.
Also, be careful of pesticide use. Pesticides are known to kill both good and bad bugs, which will mean that there will be fewer ladybugs to help keep aphids away once the pesticides wear off and fewer ladybugs to come in the following season. This could spell disaster for any organic gardening project
When you team up with the ladybugs in the right way, you can be sure to get rid of those awful aphids to keep your organic garden operating at full capacity with all the plants you could dream of, pest free! Therefore the plants grow very healthy, Thank heavens for little ladybugs, our little helpers.