Should I buy lady bugs?

Asked July 5, 2015, 8:50 PM EDT

The catalog sells a tub with 500 live "garden ladybugs" for $9.99. I know these are beneficial predators in the garden and I do have aphids on my roses and some other plants. Do you recommend buying a tub (ad says it will cover 250 sq. ft.) and releasing them in my small yard in Odenton? Would I be helping our suburban environment or harming it?

Anne Arundel County Maryland

2 Responses

We don't recommend buying lady bugs for release into your garden. They are great insects to have around. Often upon release, they fly off elsewhere.
A better approach is to manage your landscape in ways that encourage them to stay, by having a good deal of biodiversity- both in plants and insect species. Don't reach for pesticides when you see problems. There are multiple ways to deal with difficulties which will spare the many, many good insects which are helpful in your garden, and are part of the circle of life.
For the time being, hose aphids off of your plants with a strong blast of water, or squish them with a gloved hand.

I'm so glad I checked with you first. Thank you! I definitely will follow your advice.
Sheila LoCastro, Odenton