Ladybugs are predators and eat the pesky insects that compete against gardeners for food. These little insects are the organic gardener’s ally in the battle against harmful garden insects. Ladybugs have humongous appetites and mostly eat aphids which are one of the worst enemies of plants. Aphids are small green soft bodied insects that feed on the plant’s juices, they literally suck the life out of crop plants and flowers.
Additionally, they enjoy feeding on other soft bodied insect pests such as mealy bugs, mites, thrips, scale insects, and other garden plant parasites. Many of these garden insect pests are usually to small for humans to see with the naked eye.
Ladybugs consume harmful garden insects by simply walking up to them and eating them. Ladybugs have been known to eat some types of plants but cause little harm to the plant. It appears that these little critters like to have a little salad once in awhile.
However, not all ladybugs eat other insects because there are ladybugs that like to feast on grass and leaves. Plus you may be surprised that there are different colors of ladybugs. Some are orange and yellow and these guys eat nectar, pollen and sometimes aphids. All ladybugs will consume pollen and nectar from plants to save up for the winter months ahead.
If you see ladybugs in your garden then you have some garden insect pests present. However, if they are present then they are guarding your garden from harmful insects that are after your prize vegetables or flowers. Ladybugs are very smart because they will lay their eggs where there is food available. Nothing like providing for the kids before they are born! Typically Ladybugs do not make very good pets because of their food requirements, they need to be able to prowl constantly for food.
Having ladybugs in your garden will prevent you from using harmful chemicals to keep your organic garden free of harmful insects. The Ladybug larvae are the most energetic from May thru July, afterwords the grown-ups will hunt aphids and other garden intruders. The ladybug marks their territory and eat anything that dares enter their domain.
Plants can also be used to protect your vegetables. For example, the rosemary, sage or thyme is an effective deterrent against butterflies. Marigolds, on the other hand, are effective against nematodes.
But despite all the flowers and creatures that nature has to offer, crop rotation is seen as the best way to keep the soil fertile. If you planted this kind of vegetable for this season, change it with another and the return to the first after this one is harvested.