Should You Buy Lady Bugs for Your Container Garden?

Posted on Jul 18 2012 - 1:19am by Mike Lieberman

Aphids are wiping out your container garden…

…you have tried a DIY spray to no avail.

You’ve been told that lady bugs eat aphids and are thinking about buying some for your small container garden.

This is the problem that Catherine is having and sent me this question:

I’ve got several containers on my deck (no self watering though, sadly) and my tomato plants are getting hit pretty hard by red aphids and little white bugs. I tried a mixture of onion and garlic juice sprayed directly on them but to no avail. Should I try to get some ladybugs, and if so, how do I just get a few?

Don’t buy lady bugs!

When people say that they have problems with aphids, the “experts” almost immediately chime in like robots and suggest getting lady bugs.

For someone like you Catherine that would be a total waste, you’d release them and they’d fly away like white doves.

Here’s what I’d recommend since you already attempted you homemade spray:

  1. Buy an organic pesticide spray such as EndAll™ from Safer Brand. It’s OMRI listed and safe to use.
  2. When planning for next season, plant herbs and veggies that will naturally attract the ladybugs such as dill and cilantro.
  3. Insect infestations are also usually a sign of a weak plant. You might want to feed the soil more fertilizer to build up it’s strength.
  4. Save your money on the lady bugs, Catherine, and try one of these other solutions.

    I know that aphids are a huge pain in the ass. They’ve wiped out a few of my containers in the past.

    Your turn

    In the comments below, let me know what insects problems you are currently having in your garden and what ridiculous advice have you received from experts to remedy the situation.

    Image courtesy of علي الحسين on Flickr.