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Ways to Attract Ladybugs

Remarkably Smart Ways to Attract Ladybugs

Most gardeners must want to know how they can attract ladybugs so that they can benefit from the useful garden chores that these bugs perform. Find out how to do so, in this article.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Mar 7, 2018
Ladybugs all dressed in red
Strolling through the flowerbed.
If I were tiny just like you
I'd creep among the flowers too!
~ Maria Fleming
I'm sure all of you reading this happen to love ladybugs in one way or another and will totally agree with Maria Fleming when she said the above. They are indeed the prettiest little bugs that we see, aren't they? And while most may want to attract them into their garden simply to make it look a little prettier, these little bugs can prove to be quite useful to the garden they call home. They eat up tiny insects and thus help keep the garden clean and healthy. If you too want to benefit from these tiny little jacketed bugs, just follow the simple instructions given in this Gardenerdy article. You'll have your own little ladybug garden ready soon!
Plant the Right Plants
The first step that you can undertake to coax ladybugs into your garden is have a garden that houses those plants that they are more prone to infesting (and I mean this in a good way). Ladybugs are generally attracted to plants which have goblet or umbrella shaped flowers. Hence having plants like tulips, lilies etc. are great to attract them. Apart from those, fresh looking plants like dill, dandelions, cilantro, calendula, etc. are also great attractions for ladybugs. Some other plants that are also known to attract these pretty bugs are marigold, chives, wild mustard, clover, fennel, etc. So plant these plants, and take the additional steps mentioned below, to have an ample supply of the red bugs in your garden.
Leave the Aphids Alone
One of the main reasons that you probably want to attract ladybugs into your garden is to get rid of aphids and other pesky insects that invade your garden, right? Well then, you might want to cut down on the amount of other remedies that you use to keep the aphids, mealybugs, mites, whiteflies and other insects at bay. When you see larvae that look like they could belong to aphids, just leave them alone. Resist the temptation to bring out the exterminator and take them out. Aphids are one of the things that ladybugs absolutely love to eat. So the more aphids you leave within your garden, the more chances you have of ladybugs entering your garden.
Provide Sustenance
One of the sure shot ways to attract a bug, or even a human being for that matter, is to provide the right kind of food that he or she likes. Amazingly, it is the same with these pretty bugs as well. Just keep some delicious foods that they like in your garden and see them swarming into it, to satiate their hunger. You can mix 4 portions of sugar with 1 portion of water, put this solution in a spray bottle and spray all your plants with it. Another thing you can do is plant alfalfa or goldenrods in your garden. Ladybirds love to feast on these plants. So while they enjoy the food, you can enjoy their presence.
Keep the Garden Wet
Ladybugs thrive in wet areas. They absolutely love moisture. They're hungry little bugs who eat and drink voraciously and are drawn to moist areas that provide them with these conditions. So, to attract them, you need to keep your garden and all the plants in it suitably hydrated all the time. Another thing that you can do is place a shallow dish of water in the middle of your garden. This will make the spotted bugs seeking water come into your garden. Once they're there, you can follow any of the above mentioned steps to ensure that they stay there.
If even after doing all the above, you are not successful in attracting ladybugs into your garden, then you have one last choice. Call your local nursery and see if they have a stock. Buy some of them and keep them in your garden. They'll certainly attract their friends and family into your garden! Good luck!
Image of a Tree Fern (Dicksonia) and Japanese maple
Ladybug crawling plant leaves