Wednesday, 27 March 2013

How to Attract Butterflies and Lady Bugs

Borrowed some posts for this blog :-)

Put orange slices in a dish, or strung in a tree to attract butterflies - adds instant color to any garden.

 These attract ladybugs and other aphid/pest predators to my garden:
Sweet Alyssum....allow some to grow among the veggies. They will perform all year thru a few hard frosts if lightly sheared.
Dandelion....allow some to bloom (but not set seed) around the perimeter.
Wild Mustard....
In fact I have my veggies planted where the the borders have a variety of flowering plants. They attract lots of different beneficials: parasitic (braconid) wasps, tachinid flies, hover flies, minute pirate bugs, damsel bugs and mantids. Mantids however are not discriminate and will eat all and everything...a few will do ya!
Hover flies as adults are pollinators, they lay their eggs near aphid colonies where the larvae feed on them for up to 2 weeks. A single larva can consume over 400 aphids!
ALSO if you ever see what looks like a empty aphid will look white...LEAVE IT BE! Inside that shell are braconid wasp larvae or tachinid fly larvae! The adults lay eggs not only in aphids but also hornworms and other beetles, ect.

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