Ladybugs eat aphids, cabbage moths, mites and other tiny insects. Because of their appetite for plant-eating pests, ladybugs are a beneficial component for any garden and act as a natural pesticide.
Ladybugs are tiny beetles easily recognized by their red-caped, black-spotted bodies. They are popular insects with small children because of their nonthreatening appearance. Gardeners appreciate their presence in their gardens because of their tendency to eat plant-killing pests.
A ladybug's lifespan is short, about three to six weeks, but during that time, it destroys a vast amount of garden pests such as aphids and mites. A single ladybug devours approximately 5,000 aphids before it dies. Ladybugs lay their eggs on leaves where aphids and other pests congregate. When a ladybug hatches, it immediately begins to feed on the other insects. Each ladybug lays about 1,000 eggs, so even a few ladybugs have the capacity to eradicate vast populations of garden pests.
For severe aphid or mite invasions, ladybugs may be purchased from a garden supply center and released into a garden as a natural alternative to chemical pesticides. Another method for attracting ladybugs and enjoying their benefits is to plant several flowers near the garden because ladybugs are drawn to pollinating plants.