It is true that plants can be affected by numerous pests, but it is also true that they have various allies. One of the most important is ladybuga type of beetle that feeds precisely on one of the most harmful insects: aphids.
Fortunately for all of us, we can find it anywhere in the world; in fact, there are more than 4500 varieties. So If you want to know how to get it to come to your garden, then I will tell you.
How is the ladybug physically?
This is an insect native to the whole world; not in vain, their prey -the aphids or aphids- they also live in all regions of the planet, especially those with a temperate and warm climate. But let’s not deviate . The ladybug, also called, catita, vaquita de San Antón, chinita, coquitos, sanantonito or San Antonio, it is a beetle that is around 2 to 5mm long.
Its appearance is roundedand it can be red, yellow, brown, cream, … with stripes or dots. In addition, it has black wings on both sides, and two black eyes on the head that allow it to have a greater field of vision.
The life cycle is as follows:
- Egg: it is yellow in color, and the female places it in groups on leaves or stems, always close to the aphids.
- Larva: emerges more or less a week after laying. It has six legs, and some can be spiny or warty, black with white or orange spots.
It will go through four stages before moving on to the next phase.
- Pupa: It is usually orange and black in color, and can be confused with bird droppings. It clings to leaves, stems, or even rocks.
- Adult: the adult ladybug will emerge from the pupa, which will initially have a yellowish color without having defined the colors of its species. But only after a few hours, you will be able to know which one it belongs to.
How long does a ladybug last?
It depends on the species, as well as the climate and other factors (use of pesticides for example), but generally live between 2 and 3 years. The warmer and safer an area, the longer its life will be.
Where and how do ladybugs live?
They always stay close to their preybe it in the plants, as well as in the lawn. We can also see it under bark, or in the crevices where it goes in winter to protect itself from the cold.
They like the warm climate best, and it is in those regions where it is easier to find it.
What do ladybugs eat?
The vast majority of species They feed on aphids, mealybugs, mites, and fly larvae. It is estimated that an adult can eat more than a thousand specimens during the summer. Also, it must be taken into account that an adult female can have more than a million offspring, one more reason to consider it as a natural insecticide.
But no, not all are carnivores. Those of the Epilachninae family feed on plants, be they leaves, grains or seeds. They do not usually reach the pest category, but when their natural enemies, parasitoid wasps, are rare, they can drastically increase their population.
What are its natural predators?
The truth is that they have rather few, since it is said that it has a very unpleasant taste. But the birdsThe frogsThe waspsThe Spiders and dragonflies They are the animals that the ladybug does not want to see.
How to attract ladybugs?
Getting them to go to the garden and / or orchard is not difficult, but it does require taking some important steps and decisions:
Things you can do to make them go to your garden or orchard
Do not use chemicals
While it is true that, when used properly, chemicals are very effective in fighting pests, it should not be forgotten that they are also they are very harmful to the environment. For the ladybug, as well as other beneficial insects such as bees, they are very toxic.
Therefore, I invite you to use organic products, or the home remedies that we tell you in this link.
Plant plants that you like
As the marigolds, chrysanthemums, dill or chamomile. Its flowers, as they contain a lot of pollen, will be a sweet that you will not be able to resist. And by the way, you will have a more cheerful garden .
Set up some waterers
Besides food, ladybugs also need to drink. For this reason, it is highly advisable to put some drinkers with fresh and clean water between the plants.
Can’t attract them?
Do not worry! Today it is easy to find larvae or adults for sale in specialized centers. Its price is about 30 euros / 50 larvae or about 24 euros / 25 adult ladybugs.
How is it used to eliminate pests?
To get it, what you have to do is place it on top of the leaves of the plants that have these insects that cause pestssuch as aphids and mealybugs. Then you just have to let nature take its course .
And with this we are done. We hope it has been useful to you.