Uninvited Garden Pets

The good guys.

A tub of 1500 ladybugs, $9.99 at Whitfill Nursery

We planted climbing roses, but then after some late night snipping in the garden and I brought them in I saw a ton of aphids on them.  I freaked out, put the stem in a plastic bag, sealed it and then put it at the bottom of the kitchen trash.  Then I googled and found out that aphids love to cling onto new rose buds to drink the sap which then can weaken plants.

Solution?  Either blast the roses with water, use soap and water spray, or… the natural pesticides, lady bugs.

Go get ’em, dinner’s waiting, om nom nom nom!  Sorry for the yucky post with bad bugs on them.  I had to show an action shot.

Here are a few things I learned:

  • You should release lady bugs at night so they don’t fly away – they only fly when the sun is out.
  • They can eat up to 50 garden pests a day.
  • The lady bug babies, larvae look like little alligators (see pictures here)
  • The average lifespan of a lady bug is one year.
  • Don’t use pesticides 14 days before or after releasing lady bugs.

The point of releasing the ladybugs is to encourage them to stay and lay eggs so they continue to live in your garden.  If they find lots of food and water, they’ll lay eggs and then you’ll have a new cycle.  I put them all over our roses and herbs.  I am going to be honest, it’s been a week and I haven’t seen a single ladybug in our yard anymore, fantastic…I feel used.

Then, check out this little rug rat that’s been making holes in our front lawn.   I got these with my macro lens through the front window, caught in the act!

Yeah see all those other “doors” he made?  He’s been making dirt piles.  I bought these which have garlic oil in them and lasts up to 12 months!  Careful, I accidentally shoved too hard and the oil got all over my arm and I smelled like garlic all day.  Mr. Wonderful said that I was probably repelling vampires too.  Oh no, Edward, come back!

Do they work?  You betcha.  The little turd immediately pushed two out when I was in the backyard.   The goal is to keep dropping them in their hole (you can feel where their tunnel is by shoving a screw in the ground).  The game is to frustrate the guy that he moves to another yard.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  Just looking at his face makes me a little frownie.

Equipment used:  5D Mark III and 100/2.8 macro lens

Diana Elizabeth has seen all sorts of weird bugs ever since she started gardening.  It’s neat but yet also disturbing. 

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive antique shopper. You can typically find her in her garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party.


  • Sherly

    Aww, the gopher is adorable! I hope he finds a new home where he can roam freely without disturbing pretty gardens! And I love ladybugs!

  • Chris

    You are hilarious and I totally loved the read. Fascinating that ladybugs can live up to a year. That’s longer than most of the houseplants I tend!

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Hi CG! So happy to hear from you. Oh, and if you see a ladybug with no spots, you’ve spotted them within the first 24 hours of them getting their wings/hard shell! So crazy!

  • krystal

    Haha, thanks!

  • krystal

    Oh Diana, haha! I love this post! You know me…this gal adores flower pictures and those ladybugs are precious. Well, WERE precious I guess! I hope they come back!

    And those gopher things are adorable. But scram little fellas!

    But your comment on Edward is what really cracked me up :)

    Have a good day, Ladybug!

    • Diana Elizabeth

      Hi Krystal! I edited it for you ;) Well I’m glad you like the pictures – the gopher is cute, but his cuteness doesn’t make up for the mess he’s creating. He needs to find a home elsewhere, and preferably not my new veggie garden!


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