I’ve seen many people complain that their plants like ridge gourd, pumpkin, and bitter gourd bear no fruits, in spite of good flowering. One of the main reasons for the plants not bearing any fruit is that pollination is not happening effectively after flowering. Since these plants bear female and male flowers, it requires external aid for pollination process i.e., picking the pollens and smearing on to the female flowers. Aphids and other harmful insects are another great concern for the urban gardeners, as they infest and destroy the precious plants in their garden. So, if you are one of those gardeners looking for a possible solution to this problems, here’s the mantra to a beautiful, pest-free garden: attract ladybugs.
Ladybirds are tiny, garden-friendly insects, which you can find in a variety of colours—bright red, yellow, and orange—and black spots all over their body. A boon to the gardeners, these tiny beings not just help in pollination, but also in containing a variety of pests that eat your valuable crop. They not only help you in keeping the garden pests-free, but also accentuate the beauty of your garden.
Controlling the pests in your garden
Did you know that the pollen grains from the flower and the small pests that harm your garden plants are the favourite foods for the ladybugs. They generally feed on various harmful pests and insects, such as aphids, green fly, plant lice, mites, and scales. It is also a well-known fact that ladybirds lay thousands of eggs in the colonies of various plant-feeding pests, such as aphids (Aphids are a serious plant pests that stunt the plant growth, produce plant galls, transmit plant virus diseases. You can read more about aphids and other common garden pests in this article). Once the eggs hatch, the larvae of the ladybird begin to feed immediately. These larvae are also known to feed on more pests than their adult counterparts. An added advantage of the larvae in your garden is that they are sedentary. This means, once they grow into adult ladybirds, instead of flying away, most of them tend to stay in your garden.
Ladybird is considered as a vital pollinator, and can be very effective in your garden. In addition to feeding on all the pests that harm your garden, they also pollinate flowers of various plants, when they visit your garden and carry it into other flowers.
Life Cycle of the Ladybird
Eggs: Ladybirds usually lay their eggs on the underside of a leaf. They lay about 10 to 15 eggs in cluster. The eggs are yellow in colour, tiny in size and similar to elongated yellow jelly beans.
Larvae: The larvae hatch out of the eggs and immediately seek for food. The mother ladybird makes sure that there is enough food for the larvae to feed on. In this stage of development the larvae sheds its skin several times.
Pupa: After the larval stage, the ladybird enters the pupal stage. In this stage they cover-up themselves in a hard shell and they hardly move. They attach themselves to the leaves.
Adult: After few days the fully developed ladybird will emerge from the pupa case. When they emerge, their body is soft to touch and they have pale colour body. Few hours after they emerge the shell hardens and the colour also brightens.
So, now that you know a whole lot about these beautiful and garden-friendly insect, why not start attracting them right away. If you are looking to live and cultivate organically, do remember to follow our blog regularly for interesting updates.
For controlling the pests in your garden naturally, ladybugs are not the only way. There are also easier ways, such as buying organic pest control products and using them in your garden. At TheOrganic.Life, you can get a whole range of products that are effective in controlling the pests in your garden. You can click here to view all the pest control products at our online organic store, and buy from the most trusted and certified brands from across the globe.