5 Reasons You Should Buy Ladybugs for Your Garden

ladybug
© Guste L/Shutterstock.com

Written by Alanna Davis

Published: April 18, 2024

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The first signs of spring can be an exciting time for many individuals across the world. However, one sign of spring that some people can’t get behind is the reemergence of insects. Although some of these creatures can be pesky like mosquitos or ticks, you might be surprised to learn that others are incredibly helpful. In fact, having certain insects present in your garden such as ladybugs can serve several purposes in your yard.

While there aren’t many downsides to purchasing ladybugs for your yard, gardeners should keep some things in mind. When purchasing ladybugs, be sure to buy species native to where you live. In addition, gardeners should be aware that ladybugs aren’t a cure-all. Although these insects are very effective at curing garden problems, gardeners may have to take extra steps in addition to their purchase.

Finally, ladybugs that are captured during hibernation may fly away after release. According to North Dakota State University, “Studies have shown that purchased ladybeetles generally fly 20–30 miles after being released, burning up their fat layer before starting to eat new insects. Within 24 hours, less than 1% of the ladybeetles you release in your garden will remain…” With this in mind, let’s explore five reasons why you should buy ladybugs for your garden this year and discuss why these little insects are so important!

1. Ladybugs Control Crop Damaging Insects

A red ladybug sits on a green leaf on a hot and sunny summer day.

One of the most popular reasons why people purchase ladybugs for their garden is to serve as a form of natural pest control.

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While they might look cute, ladybugs are actually skilled predators. In particular, ladybugs have quite an appetite for aphids, which are common garden pests. Aphids have been a thorn in gardeners’ sides for many years, as they typically cause extensive damage to plants that gardeners spend their time and energy caring for. Having ladybugs present in your garden will cut back their numbers significantly as one ladybug can eat as many as 50 per day. Over the course of their lifetime, this can add up to thousands of aphids, which can be hugely beneficial to the health of your plants.

2. Buying Ladybugs Helps Reduce Pesticide Use

ladybug

Ladybugs enjoy longer lifespans than many insects. On average, these creatures will live between one and two years old in the wild.

©Guste L/Shutterstock.com

In addition to eating aphids, ladybugs also predate a variety of other pest insects such as mealybugs, fruit flies, and mites. In addition, they also eat the eggs of the European Potato Beetle, which can wreak havoc on gardens if left unchecked. By keeping these populations under control, ladybugs can help reduce the need for pesticide use in gardens. In turn, the environment is healthier overall. Humans will enjoy eating food grown in pesticide-free gardens, while the local wildlife won’t experience any disruptions in food availability.

3. Ladybugs May Attract Birds to Your Garden

Two-spot ladybird

While some birds enjoy eating ladybugs, others avoid them altogether. These insects have a pungent taste that only certain animals can stomach.

©Henri Koskinen/Shutterstock.com

If you’re an avid bird watcher, releasing ladybugs into your garden might help attract them to your yard. While ladybugs eat a variety of pest insects, they are also an important part of the food chain for other animals. Birds in particular love to eat ladybugs, and martins, swallows, and crows all consider them a dietary staple. Ladybugs have other predators as well, such as frogs, mantises, and dragonflies. Keeping these creatures present in your yard is a wonderful way to amp up the biodiversity.

4. Ladybugs Are a Beloved Symbol of Good Luck and Fortune

A selective focus of a ladybug on green leaves outdoors

If you see an injured or sick ladybug, you can feed it honey or lettuce to help it restore its energy.

©Oakland Images/Shutterstock.com

While this might not be the most practical reason to purchase ladybugs for your garden, it’s hard to deny that these insects are harmless, adorable, and seen as a good omen. They bring joy to people who spot them, and they are often thought of as a symbol of good luck. As they breed and disperse throughout your neighborhood, they’ll bring cheer to a larger audience. Unlike other insects, very few people dislike ladybugs. In fact, if anyone is struggling with pest control locally, you might just be doing them a favor too!

5. Ladybugs are Harmless to Beneficial Animals

Mating multicoloured Asian Ladybirds / Ladybugs (Harmonia axyridis).

Although these insects are called “ladybugs,” both males and females exist.

©Ger Bosma Photos/Shutterstock.com

While ladybugs tend to eat insects many people can’t stand, they aren’t known to harm any helpful populations. In fact, they are able to coexist with many other helpful garden guests peacefully. Their presence is safe for humans, household pets, plants, and fellow insects alike.


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About the Author

Alanna is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering insects, animals, and travel. In addition to writing, she spends her time tutoring English and exploring the east end of Long Island. Prior to receiving her Bachelor's in Economics from Stony Brook University, Alanna spent much of her time studying entomology and insect biology.

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