aphid and lady bugs

Host Plants:
In the garden: Ornamental trees and shrubs, including roses.
On Crops: Most vegetable fruit and ornamental plants.


Small, soft-bodied pear-shaped insects less than three millimeters long are usually aphids. Depending on species and plant, aphids may be beige, green, yellow or almost black. They tend to congregate in groups on new growth or in leaf crevices. See also black bean aphids and cabbage aphids.


There are many symptoms of aphid damage, including decreased growth rates, mottled leaves, yellowing, stunted growth, curled leaves, browning, wilting, low yields and, eventually, death. Along with the loss of plant juices from direct feeding, aphids can spread diseases.

Preventing Problems:

Check plants often for early outbreaks. Clip off and compost stems holding aphid clusters. Encourage beneficial insects including lady beetles, syrphid flies, and lacewings, which are important aphid predators.

Managing Outbreaks:

In small outbreaks, a high pressure spray from the garden hose can help remove aphids from plants. Follow up with two applications of insecticidal soap, one week apart. Be sure to apply the soap spray to leaf undersides and crevices.


Lady beetles and their larvae are great beneficial insects to welcome into your garden. Ants tend to be attracted to the honeydew left by aphids, so ant activity can often lead you to aphid colonies.

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Be Honey Bee Friendly

                    The Bees Are Dying!

Studies show that a big reason for the sudden LARGE drop in the Honey Bee population has to do with our carelessness and over use of pesticides. Pesticide use has become a common thing. People not wanting their gardens devoured by caterpillars, or their roses deformed by aphids. That trail of ants coming through the kitchen is pretty annoying too!

So what do we do? Well, that’s easy, we go down to the market and get some bug spray or powder, and the stronger or longer lasting it is, the better! Then we go home and apply; some of us might put that  little extra  just to make sure. Then for awhile you don’t have to deal with the headache. One thing though, we are not the only living things on the planet, and all of these other living things are here for a reason, they do have a purpose, no matter how small, gross, or annoying some of us might think they are. Ants, maggots, cockroaches, they eat things we might think are disgusting, but imagine if they weren’t here. Anything that has died or our trash would just sit there and build up, now I think that would be a lot more disgusting!

Well, Honey Bees have a purpose too, they pollinate our flowers so they can produce seeds. Without the seeds, the plants would die, and there would be no way to have more. Most of plant pollination is by our Honey Bees. Plants help in the cycle that produces the air we breathe for one, and they also help clean the air we have polluted. But they also produce the fruits and vegetables we eat, and a lot of other species of insects and animals eat too. We don’t only use plants for food, we use them for clothing, shelter, paper, beauty products, and so much more. Just about every living thing on this planet depends on bees when it comes down to it.


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Last year American beekeepers reported that their Honey Bee colony population is down by about 40% according to U.S. News. Now none of us want our kitchens full of ants or our plants and gardens devoured over night, but their is a better option than using pesticides, thank goodness! “What”,You may ask?  Beneficial insects and nematodes would be the answer.

There are so many different types of beneficial insects, I had recently done posts on The Praying Mantis and The Ladybug, both of which have a mighty appetite for those bugs you just don’t want in your garden. And the Nematodes, specifically parasitic nematodes, can be added to the soil, they eat a wide range of pests from cut worms, to ants and fleas. And all of these beneficial insects can be purchased. It is our responsibility to realize what is going on and stop contributing  to the loss of our very important bees, by using beneficial insects in the place of pesticides  is a good start. I have included a few links below where beneficial insects and nematodes can be purchased, some plants that attract and feed the bees, and a few informational books. I hope this will help you Be Bee Friendly!

Beneficial Insects and Nematodes HERE

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1,000 FRENCH CRIMSON CLOVER Seeds – Nectar Source for Honey Bees – BULK Trifolium Incarnatum ~ FRAGRANT FLOWERS

778mg Organic Sunflower Seeds Variety Mix ~Attract Birds and Bees Ornamental

The Bee-Friendly Garden: Design an Abundant, Flower-Filled Yard that Nurtures Bees and Supports Biodiversity

Keeping the Bees: Why All Bees Are at Risk and What We Can Do to Save Them

Neat Bugs! Beneficial Insects Part 2

The Ladybug, A.K.A.” Ladybird Beetle”


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Introducing the Ladybug, this tiny little flying beetle is not only a pretty accent to your garden, it’s also good to have around! You know those pesky aphids and scale bugs that love to feast on the new growth of your plants ,deforming them,  and how they love just ruining your roses? Well this pretty little beetle will eat them up, breakfast, lunch and dinner! The larva may not even look related, but they sure love eating those pests too.

Buy Ladybugs for YOUR Garden HERE!

The larva of a lady bug doesn’t look much like its parents, instead, it looks almost like a soft small, black caterpillar with only the six small legs at the top of the body and small orange spots. They are found in the same places you would find the adults because they eat the same thing. In the two to three weeks they are in this stage they can eat up to 400 aphids! Next they go through a stage where they will attach themselves to a leaf and pupate. After about a week, they emerge as The Ladybug.

In North America, where I live in California, we are used to seeing the red ladybug with black spots, once I think I may have seen a Golden one. But they actually come in a few other colors; Blue, Purple, Pink, Brown, Green, Black, And Gray.

The Blue and Purple Ladybugs live in Hawaii

The Pink Lady Bugs live in live in North America, I have never seen one but it sure sounds pretty! Gray Ladybugs are known to live in Alabama in the United States.

There are also ladybugs that can be pests and actually eat your plants as well. If you decide you want the beneficial  guys to live in your garden, they can be purchased online. When you purchase them online you know they will be the ladybugs you want.

Get YOUR Ladybugs HERE!

Amazing Pictures and Facts About Ladybugs ebook    Kids ebook About Bugs! HERE!!!
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Neat Bugs! : Beneficial Insects

Praying Mantis

My very favorite of the beneficial insects for sure, these guys will eat just about any insect pest you have in your garden, they are even known to eat each other!  They live about one year and lay their eggs in fall. A majority of the Beneficial Insects in your garden will eat certain bugs, but the Praying Mantis will eat just about any other insect. They are fierce little hunters, and boy do they put up a good fight. They are known as Ambush Attackers, pouncing on nearby prey after stalking them or waiting patiently in their camouflage until the time is right.

So what do these guys eat for dinner? Well, just about anything smaller than them that they can over-power.The Mantis has little spikes on their front legs which gives them a good grasp on their unlucky victims and they have been known to not only eat insects, if they get large enough they will attack frogs and lizards as well, I personally have never witnessed this thank goodness, I love frogs!!

This all might make them sound a little scary, but they can be a gardener’s best friend and they are just so neat! I hope every year to have that one praying mantis make his little home in the plants near the porch so I can go out and see him every summer morning.

Get Praying Mantis for YOUR Garden HERE!

FREE Kindle Reading App HERE!     All About the Praying Mantis e-books HERE!