So my daughter likes bugs.
Is this normal for a 9 year old girl, because I find it disturbing.
She seems to have a newfound obsession with ladybugs this year. Ladybugs I can do. I’m totally down with that. The girl will spend the entire day outside, wandering from rose bush to rose bush, searching for ladybugs. The one thing she decides to be diligent in… go figure.
Anyways, she’s got quite a collection of those little buggers now. Last bug count had her at 29, I think. Unfortunately, even though I have 9 rose bushes in my backyard, there is not a single aphid to be had among them.
Did you know that 1 ladybug can eat up to 50 aphids per day?
So we did the math.
Wait for it….
… 1,450 aphids needed to sustain these buggers… a day.
So, I got online to see what our options where. Because, apparently, I have nothing better to do. My research quickly yielded a solution.
And off we went to the grocery store to buy food for bugs. Again, apparently, I have nothing better to do with my time. Clearly there is something wrong with me.
Now we have a large ladybug sanctuary with many happy (and alive. This is important) ladybugs. And this is how you do it….
1. Get a large plastic container (we used a pretzel container from Costco), wash it out, and punch holes in the lid with a nail.
2. Fill the bottom of your sanctuary with ladybug friendly foliage, such as leaves from rose bushes. Add some flowers or flower petals in there too!
3. Place a few sticks and branches in the sanctuary for the ladybug’s climbing delights. We propped a large one against one side, and the ladybugs love it.
4. Dampen a paper towel and place it in the sanctuary off to one side. The bugs will use this for drinking.
5. Next, add some food. Obviously, aphids are the food of choice for ladybugs. These are the little green bugs you find on roses. If you don’t have aphids (join the club), then you can feed your ladybugs with cut grapes and slices of apples or peaches. You can also soak some raisins in water until puffy and put those in your sanctuary… the ladybugs LOVE them! Don’t forget to replace the fruit daily!
6. Once you have the foliage, flowers, source of water, and food in the sanctuary, you are ready to introduce your ladybugs to their new home!
Remember, all of this needs to be replaced every few days as it starts to wilt and mold. Avery will usually take the bugs out one at a time and put them in a smaller container so she can clean the sanctuary out. I recommend you do this indoors, and in a small space so the buggers are easy to catch if one gets away. And believe me, they do get away.
Anyway… that’s our little summer science project of sorts.
If you have kiddos that are fascinated by bugs, you might wanna try this. The kids will love it, and you will probably enjoy watching them in their little safe haven as well.
And if you’re not interested in bugs, well, my apologies for this post. Better luck next time!