Releasing ladybugs into your garden is a great way to increase the population of these beneficial insects. In this post, I will show you when and how to release ladybugs, step by step.
You may be wondering why you would need or want to release ladybugs in the first place. Well, there are tons of benefits of having them in your garden, and they are voracious predators.
They eat hundreds of undesirable bugs, and help keep your garden free from plant-eating insects.
Adding ladybugs into your yard is a great way to increase their population. They will get to work decimating the bad bugs for you right away.
In this post, I will talk about when and how to release ladybugs, and give you pointers for how to make dispersing them easier. Then I’ll list some tips for keeping them there.
Here’s what you’ll find in this guide for how to release ladybugs into your garden…
Releasing Ladybugs In Your Garden
If your garden is plagued with recurring pest infestations, then you might want to try releasing ladybugs to help you out.
This wonderful natural predator eats bugs, like aphids and other soft-bodied pest insects, every single day. They can quickly wipe out a large infestation in a short period of time.
Just make sure you buy ladybugs from a reputable place so you know you’re getting a good quality and healthy lot. You can purchase them online, or from your local nursery.
Below you’ll find all of the details of when and how to disperse them, and get tips for keeping them in your garden so they won’t simply fly away.
These are just general guidelines based on my experience, so make sure you read the instructions that come with your package for more specifics.
When To Release Ladybugs
The best time to release ladybugs is either late in the evening (which is ideal), or very early in the morning while it’s still cool outside. This will help to keep them from flying off right away.
You should also spread them shortly after a rainfall, or after you have watered the garden. They will be thirsty, and having water to drink will make them more likely to stick around.
As for what time of year to release them, I recommend doing it in the spring or early summer. That will give them plenty of time to become established in your yard, and mate before hibernation.
How To Release Ladybugs Into Your Garden
The process of releasing ladybugs sounds easy. But, depending on how many come in the package, it can become a bit tedious.
So here are some quick tips for how to release them based on my experience. This should help make it easier for you…
- Water the garden first – Run a sprinkler for about 20 minutes before you plan to let them go. The ladybugs have been hibernating while in transit, so they will be thirsty when they wake up.
- Do it at dusk or dawn – Spread them in low light conditions, preferably in the late evening. This way, they are more likely to stay in your garden, instead of flying away.
- Release them in flower beds – It’s best to place them in a garden area, and ideally one where there are lots of flowers blooming. Then try to put them on as many different types of flowers as you can.
- Spread them around as much as possible – You can’t just open the package and let them all out in one spot. They’re territorial, so if you release them all in one place, they will just fly away to find their own area. So take the time to spread them around.
- Don’t be squeamish – This sounds easy, right? But when you look down and see a bunch of bugs crawling up your arm at a rapid speed, it’s really hard not to swat at them, drop the container, and run away screaming. Not that I would know anything about that (ehem).
- Store them in the fridge – Don’t worry if you don’t get it all done in one night. Simply store the package with the remaining ladybugs in the fridge (where they will go back to sleep), and work on it again the next evening.
How To Keep Ladybugs In Your Garden After Release
There’s no guarantee that the ladybugs will stay in your yard after you release them, but there are a few things you can do to encourage them to stick around.
First, try to let them go in areas where they will quickly be able to find food and water. The water part is easy, all you need to do is run a sprinkler for about 20 minutes before releasing them.
As for the food part, an area that’s infested with aphids or other pest insects is a great location to spread them. Finding an easy meal right away will encourage the ladybugs to stay in your garden.
Also, it’s better to release them in areas where there are lots of plants and flowers growing, rather than in the lawn where there is nothing but grass.
How Long Can You Keep Ladybugs In The Fridge?
If you can’t spread them all out at once, or you get interrupted, don’t worry. You can store the container in your refrigerator. Ladybugs can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks.
When they get cold, they will go to sleep. So, you probably won’t see them moving around in there. Just make sure they don’t freeze by accident.
Releasing ladybugs is an easy and environmentally friendly way to keep insect pests under control. Not long after you introduce ladybugs into your yard, you should notice less destructive pests, and your plants can thrive for the rest of the season.
- The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control
- Attracting Native Pollinators
- Pollinator Friendly Gardening
More About Garden Pest Control
- How To Control Garden Pests Naturally
- Using Beneficial Nematodes To Control Garden Pests
- How To Use Japanese Beetle Traps
- How to Protect Grapes From Birds & Bugs
Share your tips or experience with releasing ladybugs in the comments below.