Does anyone have advice on attracting and keeping lady bugs in the vegtable garden? I hear they like to eat aphids.
One of the easiest plants I know to grow for ladybugs is cilantro. It produces a nice flower that attracts the LB and it reseeds in the spring. Beneficial insects are often attracted to plants with tiny white flowers.
You can also overwinter a few carrots in your garden. In the 2nd year they produce a nice flower loved by many good bugs.
Here are some other ideas~
Here is a link that might be useful: Attracting ladybugs
Thanks for the tips!
I know I am late replying to this post, but in case someone wants to know how to : leave aphids alone they are great food for lady bugs larvae.Lady bugs will only put their larvae where there is plenty of food.So next time you see aphids on your plants leave those alone, don't be tempted to remove any.Soon lady bugs will find them.In few years you will have lots of lady bugs and they will stay with you if you don't spray and keep the aphids.When I see an aphids I just wait for lady bugs." if you built it they will come"
These attract ladybugs and other aphid/pest predators to my garden:
Sweet Alyssum....allow some to grow among the veggies. They will perform all year thru a few hard frosts if lightly sheared.
Dandelion....allow some to bloom (but not set seed) around the perimeter.
In fact I have my veggies planted where the the borders have a variety of flowering plants. They attract lots of different beneficials: parasitic (braconid) wasps, tachinid flies, hover flies, minute pirate bugs, damsel bugs and mantids. Mantids however are not discriminate and will eat all and everything...a few will do ya!
Hover flies as adults are pollinators, they lay their eggs near aphid colonies where the larvae feed on them for up to 2 weeks. A single larva can consume over 400 aphids!
ALSO if you ever see what looks like a empty aphid shell...it will look white...LEAVE IT BE! Inside that shell are braconid wasp larvae or tachinid fly larvae! The adults lay eggs not only in aphids but also hornworms and other cats, beetles, ect.
Also, butterfly weed and I have heard clover.
A shallow dish of water with a rock in it isn't a bad idea either. Provides a water source for all sorts of beneficial insects. Just keep it fresh of course!
I'm including a link with a list of some more flowers and info.
Here is a link that might be useful: Ladybugs
At the beginning of this thread, back in 2003, there is a link, in the 2nd message, named "attracting ladybugs". This link takes you to gardenguides.com and the article on "Luring ladybugs into your garden".
This is actually an article about ladybugs as pests. Did you know that your home can be invaded by ladybugs, one after another, until you have a ladybug infestation. But worry not, this article abounds with remedies. After you've screened all windows, fixed the cracks in the concrete foundation, caulked all holes...well if those volkswagen like pests keep breaking in, get out the vacuum cleaner and suck them up. And if that doesn't work, having a few birds flying around inside the house should take care of business, cause birds will eat the ladybugs...the ones that aren't bitter. And if that still doesn't work, and you're tired of counting the spots on the backs of these nasty creatures...all you need to do next is "spray the walls of your home with a long-lasting pesticide".
To recap, you buy a box of ladybugs to get rid of your aphids in an organic fashion. But the ladybugs turn around, as ladybugs are wont to do, and sneak into your house. You end up with birds flying around the room looking for ladybugs, and all the walls smeared with some incredibly toxic chemical. This was such a great solution that I couldn't not share it...