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14/01/2014 at 15:38

It was great last year to see the butterflies back in the garden after the awful summer of 2012. But last year I did not see a single ladybird, and I have not seen grasshoppers and crickets for years.

Can you please remind me what I need to do to encourage these wonderful little fellows back to the garden. I do live in the country.

14/01/2014 at 16:30

All the ladybirds were on our globe artichokes!

14/01/2014 at 16:31

Hi Mark,

Last summer my garden was fulled to the brim with chirping grasshoppers and some lovely speckled bush crickets. I left some parts of my lawn to grow from spring until autumn. I think they need long grass to complete their life cycle. The males seemed to love sitting up high on the fence in the sun and chirping away. So maybe you could provide some sunny places for them to perch as well as different heights of grass?

I can't help you with ladybirds though, I haven't had many in this garden, I am sure someone else can give you some advice. (I think the cold spring really effected the ladybirds last year) You could provide a ladybird house? and leave the aphids for them to gobble up.

Good luck encouraging them into your garden.

 

 

 

14/01/2014 at 17:03

I had plenty of grasshoppers and crickets. I've seen more ladybirds clustered about this winter than I did last summer. I don't like to open the French doors, they all fall out of the gap between frame and door. 

14/01/2014 at 17:34

We had plenty of grasshoppers and crickets too - some of them came indoors and had to be taken out again - they seem to like being in our rather rampant herb garden near the back door 

We only had a few ladybirds last summer, and we saw most of them towards autumn - I agree with MMeerkat and think that long cold spring is to blame. 

14/01/2014 at 18:37

I've come across a few ladybirds this autumn although they didn't seem that obvious during the summer.

I'm finding quite a few in the curled up leaves of various plants - getting ready to overwinter.  Years ago, people use to "tidy" their garden in Autumn and unknowingly probably destroyed lots of our beneficial insects.  Hopefully we are better educated these days.  If I really need to clear some vegetation, I "re house" ladybirds somewhere else.

As to Ladybird houses, those I have seen advertised are terribly expensive.  I have kept back some decent logs, drilled holes and hung them in trees/shrubs.  At least one Bumblebee seems to be happy in there and one or two of my Ladybirds.  It is a start but if anyone has more advice, I'd be glad to hear as well.

 

14/01/2014 at 19:02

Yep the advertised ladybird houses can be super expensive. I picked a cheap one at a fair that was made by a local craftsman and was nice and rustic looking. But if you have logs and can drill holes in them, then that is perfect. Less tidying in autumn will help and I leave all my pesky aphids alone rather than spraying them with anything.

15/01/2014 at 08:21

Thanks all, lots of good advice there, thanks Meerkat for the below.

Magical Meerkat wrote (see)

Hi Mark,

Last summer my garden was fulled to the brim with chirping grasshoppers and some lovely speckled bush crickets. I left some parts of my lawn to grow from spring until autumn. I think they need long grass to complete their life cycle. The males seemed to love sitting up high on the fence in the sun and chirping away. So maybe you could provide some sunny places for them to perch as well as different heights of grass?

I can't help you with ladybirds though, I haven't had many in this garden, I am sure someone else can give you some advice. (I think the cold spring really effected the ladybirds last year) You could provide a ladybird house? and leave the aphids for them to gobble up.

Good luck encouraging them into your garden.

 

 

 

 

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