How to Make your Own Ladybug Habitat
Making your own ladybug habitat is a compelling way to observe these beautiful insects and their behaviors up close. It is also a great way to increase the interest of your children in the natural world and in the creatures that populate this world. When making a ladybug habitat it is always best to use the actual world as your model.
The first step in starting a ladybug habitat, of course, is finding ladybugs. If you have a garden, this is usually not a difficult task. Ladybugs love gardens and most gardeners love ladybugs because anyone with a green thumb knows that one of the most salubrious helpers for a garden is your friendly neighborhood ladybugs. The reason ladybugs are so loved is because not only are they beautiful in themselves, but they also help out gardeners by eating the pests that gardeners hate most—the ones that eat our flowers and plants.
Because ladybugs are so helpful, one of the ways to get one for your ladybug habitat is to buy some at the store. Although you can buy a whole platoon of ladybugs for a relatively low price, you actually don’t need to spend any money at all on them if you have a garden. In most places, you can find ladybugs in their natural ladybug habitat—your garden. Just go out in spring or summer and look for them among the leaves. If you put in the time, you are likely to find one or two hanging out right by your healthiest plants.
Be careful when you gather them--some of them do have a bit of bite. You can just drop them right into the container where you plan to keep them.
The Ladybug Habitat
Be sure that you do not lock your ladybug in an airtight container. They need to breathe just like other animals. You should try to make your personal ladybug container as much like the ladybug’s natural habitat as possible. In other words, you want it to be just like your garden. Be sure to drop in some soils and some twigs so that your little ladybug pet can find shelter. In addition, you should make sure there is a bit of water in there as well.
Now many ladybug enthusiasts say that you can keep them in this habitat all summer until they need to hibernate, but I would say that you should probably release your ladybug after a week or two. Although it can be fun looking at them, your ladybug and your garden will be better off with your ladybug in it.
You will also have to gather some aphids for your ladybug to eat during its period of captivity. Many people find this an unpleasant activity but if you are going to keep a ladybug as a pet, this is a necessary task—just like feeding a live mouse to a snake.
Be sure to enjoy your ladybug. Watch them as they move around on the leaf or devour an aphid. They are truly amazing creatures, as you will no doubt notice while you have them in your home.
Releasing Your Ladybug
At the end of summer, when you are done with your ladybug you will want to be sure to release them so that they can go off and hibernate, something that they simply won’t be able to do properly so long as you continue to detain them. Furthermore, since many of them migrate during this period, it is important to let them go well in advance of the fall, or you might risk exposing them to the dangers of their travels during the wrong period.
You certainly want these little helpers to be around the following season when you and your garden will need them again.