Eeeeeek! Doesn’t it look like something out of a horror movie? The first time I saw one of these little guys, I wanted to squish it. Good thing I didn’t—it’s a ladybug larvae.
Ladybugs are one of the many predator bugs you want in your garden, and here’s why:
• They can eat their weight in aphids every day (that’s about 50 aphids per ladybug).
• A female ladybug will lay more than 1000 eggs in her lifetime.
• You do the math—that’s a lot of aphid destruction.
Here’s another one that you might not recognize:
That’s a praying mantis egg pod (ootheca for you word nerds). Some cool praying mantis facts:
• They eat moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies and other insects.
• Their excellent eyesight allows them to see movement up to 60 feet away.
• They can turn their heads 180 degrees to scan their surroundings.
And the uglybug award goes to:
This is a dragonfly naiad, or larvae. Hideous, yes—but it eats mosquito larvae. Could you ask for more? You could? OK then, adult dragonflies also eat mosquitos, flies, and moths.
Watch for these guys the next time you’re out bug stompin’. Don’t destroy a predator bug by mistake!
And if somebody asks you why you’re a successful gardener, just smile and tell them, “hired killers.”