“Ladybugs all dressed in red…”

When I say “carnivore,” what’s the first image that pops into your head? In my mind, I see a roaring lion.

Now, let’s play associations:

A lion is to a zebra, as a ladybug is to a ____?

If you said grass (just as I did, 5 minutes ago), you were wrong.

I started a vegetable garden in our new home for the first time this spring and my neighbor tagged me in a pin on Pinterest about attracting ladybugs. Apparently, the small, beautiful, red insects are very much carnivores and eat aphids, or plant lice.

The 1/8-inch-long aphids come in different colors (green, brown, red) and live in colonies making them that much more destructive. They eat different types of plants, or suck the juices from the leaves, stem and roots, causing the plant to die. Aphids consume everything from trees, such as cherries and pine, to strawberries and lettuce.

While there are chemical and non-chemical substances that can be used, ladybugs are nature’s pest control against the harmful insects. Just one ladybug can eat up to 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.

So, if you want to house some ladybugs in your yard, here is an easy way to do so.

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