Lady Loves Cannabis, But She’s Not Human!
There’s a new girl in the garden and she knows how to eliminate those pesky little aphids. Who is she? Drum roll please…The Ladybug! Did you know ladybugs are the organic alternative to chemical pesticides for your garden or grow? You got it, those little red beetles can eat up to 5,000 aphids in their 2-3 year lifespan. As the name might imply, the ladybug is not a bug at all. In fact, considered a beetle, there is a hard shell under the polka dot red camouflage, to protect the delicate wings. The ladybug is particularly popular in commercial cannabis cultivation facilities as an alternative to pesticides and chemicals.
She’s an insect eater! While their favorite meal is aphids, they eat other variety of insects and larvae too. Once the aphids are gone, they feed on eggs of moths, other beetles, and mites. Ladybugs must have a source of pollen, nectar, and water to survive. Interestingly enough, their bright red color and distinctive spots are only attractive to humans – not to predators. But when threatened, the ladybug has a secret weapon; it secretes a foul fluid from the knees. They can also play dead; pretty impressive for a little beetle the size of a dab.
How to attract the ladies? Whether you’re growing cannabis or cucumbers, ladybugs can help keep your garden healthy. Ladybugs are attracted to specific types of plants and may come to your garden on a natural migration in search of pollen. Consider planting “umbrella shaped” flowers such as fennel, dill, cilantro, caraway, and of course, cannabis! They also love white cosmos, dandelions, and scented geraniums.
It’s a bug’s life. If your garden has ladybugs, in just one year you could have a minimum of five generations of ladybugs keeping your garden free of insects. Keep a close eye on your garden and don’t disturb the tiny yellow egg clusters left behind by the females. The eggs hatch within 3-5 days and the larvae actually feed on aphids until it pupates into an adult two to three weeks later. If you see a group of ladybugs huddled together, they are trying to stay warm.
If you like the thought of chemical-free cannabis, ask your local dispensary what methods they use to prevent infestations in their cultivation facility. It’s a fair question to ask as a consumer. If they use ladybugs, enjoy your buzz with the satisfaction of clean, healthy, and natural high.
Peace, Love, and LadyBugs!
Photo credits: Pixabay.com
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