August 3, 2022
Searles Gardening Team
Discover the fascinating world of Coleoptera and the beloved ladybird, a beneficial insect that feeds on pests and thrives on nectar-rich flowers.
We all know and love the sweet little ladybird. They come in an assortment of colours from orange, red, yellow and even black and are classified under many different species and are in the order of Coleoptera. Ladybirds are primarily found on plants (such as roses) that harbour the likes of Aphids as this makes up a large percentage of their diet yet some may also forage on the likes of fungus, mealy bugs, scale insects and in the case of the 28 spotted ladybird, even plants! All however are regarded as beneficial as they will help to keep the populations of these pests to a more manageable level. The immature larval stage of ladybirds are as just ferocious eaters of pests as the adults and can consume several times their own weight in young aphids. As adults, they also enjoy the benefits of nectar-rich flowers which attract them to the garden. Try growing the likes of scented pelargoniums, cosmos, tansy and angelica to name but a few.
Note: To avoid attracting the 28 spotted ladybird (however beneficial) (due to its appetite for plant material) ensure that common weeds such as Blackberry nightshade (Solanum nigrum) are eradicated from your garden as they will often be found in great numbers on these prior to them moving into the rest of the garden.
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