Ladybugs "Fly Away Home" to Downtown Street Trees

Approximately 150,000 ladybugs will make Victoria's downtown street trees their new home over the next six weeks as City Parks crews conduct their annual ladybug release to protect the trees from aphids. Ladybugs are a beneficial insect that eat pests such as aphids, beetle larvae and spider mites which feed on Victoria gardens.

The adult ladybugs that are applied to the street trees will remain for several months, mating and laying their eggs in the next few weeks. Their offspring (larvae) will be hungry, eating up to 50 aphids per day in contrast to the adult ladybugs that will eat 5 – 10 aphids per day.

Since 1994, City Parks staff have released ladybugs and other beneficial insects as an alternative to using pesticides on public lands. In February 2008, the City of Victoria became the first municipality in the Capital Region to adopt a bylaw to regulate the use of pesticides on public and private property.

Victoria residents can attract ladybugs to their yard by planting umbrella-shaped flowers that are high in nectar and pollen such as geraniums, cosmos, and coreopsis, and herbs such as cilantro, dill and fennel. Ladybugs are also attracted to vegetables such as potatoes and cabbage. Ladybugs can be purchased for residential use at some local garden centres and nurseries.