Keeping Pests Away {Our Ladybug Adventure}

One thing I decided from the beginning when we started our garden was that I didn't want to use any chemical pesticides. I've been very diligent about not using chemicals in the home so why would I use them in the garden? Especially on plants we grow to eat.

So when I started to see little aphids I quickly went in search of a solution. And happily found out that ladybugs were the answer! How awesome is that?

My lettuce, celery, broccoli, and various other veggies and fruit (gotta remember those strawberries!) needed some protection so we headed out to find us some ladybugs. My mother-in-law let me know that Ace Hardware sold ladybugs so we quickly headed over and picked some up after a tasty lunch at Slater's 50/50.

Ladybugs are great at keeping pests out of your garden. A few pests they take care of are:
  • Whitefly
  • Scales
  • Mites
  • Mealybugs
  • Broccoli Worm
  • Tomato Hornworm
  • Bollworm
  • Cabbage Moth
If you have signs of any of these pests you might want to consider picking up some ladybugs at your local gardening store (or Ace Hardware) to release in your garden. To find out more about using ladybugs to keep pests at bay check out this awesome website all about ladybugs, Everything Ladybug!

The helpful staff at Ace gave me a few tips on releasing the ladybugs into the garden:

1. Wet the garden bed. Ladybugs love moisture. If you want them to stay in your garden and not move onto the next you really don't want to skip this step.

2. Open up the container and let the ladybugs start to crawl up and out.

3. Let your three year old shake the container over all parts of the garden. You don't want all of the ladybugs in one area. (The three year old isn't necessary but makes a fun adventure!)

4. Watch as the ladybugs wake up and start moving. The ladybugs might take a few minutes to perk up but soon they'll start crawling all over and exploring your garden. A good amount of the ladybugs will leave to other gardens but a surprising amount stay.

Watch the little guys for a bit at your child's level. You'll be amazed at the sheer joy your little ones find in this activity!

5. Continue to mist the garden with the lady bugs twice a day. Just enough to make sure that the dirt and plants are moist and the ladybugs have water to drink.

You can also mist the garden with a 1:1 ratio of sugar based soda to water. This will make the ladybug's wings sticky and will allow them to explore your garden instead of flying away. This solution works for about a week and then wears off.

8 comment(s) with love:

royalegacy said... Reply To This Comment

We have had a natural influx of ladybugs this year. It is fascinating to watch them. Ladybugs are certainly a great natural way to get rid of those nasty bugs.

About A Mom said... Reply To This Comment

This is a great post! I assumed you would have to purchase something like this through mail order. Nice to know it's readily available at the hardware store. Your garden is beautiful and it's great to see the kids so involved!

Grace said... Reply To This Comment

I didn't know you could buy ladybugs at Ace Hardware. This would be a lovely project when the grand kids come.

Life With Captain Fussybuckets said... Reply To This Comment

I tried ladybugs before, but didn't know about the moisture thing or the soda/water solution! That's probably why they didn't stick around for long!

Your garden (and kids!) are beautiful, by the way! Thanks for these tips!

Heather Smith said... Reply To This Comment

That's great to know.. I'm planning to build some raised beds next year to expand our garden so I'll definitely look into finding Ladybugs!

LOVE MELISSA:) said... Reply To This Comment

Thank you for this post. We get SO many ladybugs this time of year! What great tips!

Shopping Tips and Tricks said... Reply To This Comment

We have some raised bed gardens and hubby is working on it today while I am still out of town. I can't wait to get home to work on them! Yours look GREAT

Terri Babin said... Reply To This Comment

We are just getting ready to plant our Spring garden and will definitely be using ladybugs again this year! They really are an amazing natural pesticide, and the kidlets love them!