Ladybird, Ladybird, Fly Away Home

Out of all the little insects in the garden, my favorite is the ladybird (or ladybird beetle, lady beetle, and most commonly named in the States, ladybug).  Whatever you wish to call it, one thing is for certain: they’re a popular insect to admire.  Many people love these scarlet-coated beetles for their vibrant red and black anatomy, while gardeners love them for a more practical purpose: ladybirds are an excellent source of a natural method of pest control.

My husband and I bought a package of ladybirds from our local nursery, containing roughly 1,500 beetles.  At dusk, we spread them out on a few select plants with what seems to be a weevil problem (weevils look like little black aphids).  Though 1,500 sounds like a lot of ladybirds, they didn’t look like that many.  However, they did take charge!  As soon as we spread them out, they climbed the base of the black currant bush, like aphid-eating pros!  Well worth the $9.99 purchase (which at the time, I thought was a little steep). So the next time you see a little ladybird, stop and take a moment.  Look at her closely, admire her whimsical beauty, and thank her for me.


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