Not All Insects Are Detrimental!
It may be a shocking site at first; a mass of beetles on one of your shrubs that bloomed so beautifully just a few weeks ago, but actually these beetles are eating the Aphids that are damaging the shrub. The Ladybird Beetle (or Lady Bug) is just one beneficial insect that you’ll find in your landscape this summer, and their main course of action is making the Aphid their main course of dinner. There are many other beneficial insects, but let’s stick to the Lady Bugs for now.
Aphids have been prevalent in our region this year, so it is likely that you will see an increase in Lady Bugs in the coming weeks. Usually found on the underside of leaves, Aphids cause damage to plants by using their piercing mouths to suck the plant’s juices. Lady Bugs will seek large populations of Aphids and feast on them heavily until the food source is depleted, then they’ll continue their search for more food.
There is a large variety of Aphids and they can be found on a number of host plants in our region ranging from forsythia, to beech, to oaks, and many more. If you’re noticing an abundance of Lady Bugs, it is likely that you have Aphids on your property. Lady Bugs are good, and they’ll seek out Aphids, but by this point there is usually already damage done to your plants and shrubs. It is best to use an insecticidal soap or oil to remedy an Aphid problem – rather than building a team of Lady Bugs.
If you’re noticing Lady Bugs, or Aphids, on your plants it is a good idea to consult with a Certified Arborist to learn how you can keep your plants safe and healthy.
This pair of Lady Bugs is on the hunt for Aphids. The small white spots on the leaves are indicators that Aphids have fed on the underside of the leaves.