Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that feed by sucking the sap out of plants. For gardeners, they can be more than a pest as too much sap-sucking can result in plants yellowing, having stunted growth, and even dying.
But one Reddit user has revealed their ingenious method of dealing with these crop ruiners — without the use of pesticides.
Clearly, both the fruit tree and u/yeti_mann12466 were happy about the experience.
“Hooo boy! Go get ‘em!” the user yells as the ladybugs begin to swarm up the tree.
Ladybugs are natural predators of aphids, and attracting them to your garden can be a highly effective way to control the aphid population without resorting to pesticides, which are, quite literally, poisonous. Studies have linked pesticides to numerous diseases and the overuse of them can contaminate soil and water and have harmful effects on local wildlife.
To attract ladybugs to your garden, you can plant a range of flowering plants that flower at different times throughout the season. Or, like u/yeti_mann12466, you can order some online.
Most species of ladybugs are native to the United States with the one main exception being the Asian ladybug, also known as the Harlequin ladybird. It was introduced to the U.S. to combat aphids in California and has now spread throughout North America.
If you are looking to purchase ladybugs for your garden, be sure to check that the species you are purchasing is native to your region, and avoid the aforementioned Harlequin ladybird at all costs. Companies like Insect Lore can offer you ladybugs that were farmed instead of caught in the wild, which can also help ensure you are not introducing ladybugs with parasites into your garden.