Audubon Asks: Did You Know?
Did you know one of the most common species of ladybugs in the United States has nearly vanished? Since the 1980s, populations of the once-common nine-spotted ladybug have declined dramatically.
Ladybugs are considered lucky, and it’s true – at least for gardeners. Ladybugs love pests. One ladybug can eat 5,000 aphids.They also feed on spider mites, scale insects, mealy bugs, and the eggs of corn borers, fall armyworms, and many other damaging pests. Their presence reduces the need for insecticides.
Ladybugs also are pollinators, which makes them even more desirable. They reportedly prefer marigolds, yarrow, cilantro, dill, and juniper. To attract ladybugs to your yard, consider turning a section of lawn into a haven for ladybugs and other pollinators.
Skidaway Audubon has launched an island-wide initiative called Nature Notices, which encourages residents to replace sections of their lawn with groupings of understory trees, native greenery, and pollinator plants to provide needed habitat for declining numbers of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife – including ladybugs. It also can decrease lawn maintenance, reduce water use, and increase home values. Nature notices when its home and food sources are destroyed. To help stem the loss of critical habitat, learn more at SkidawayAudubon.org.