Gardening Hack Using Ladybugs Wows the Internet

Any gardener who’s been at it for long enough inevitably learns who their enemies are and where to find allies. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, just check out a recent TikTok video from @texasgardenguy, who aimed to show the internet how he deals with his nemesis: The azalea aphid.

The TikToker, who goes by Destin and describes himself as a “Texas Veteran & Backyard Gardener,” uploaded a video titled “1500 LIVE LADYBUGS!” which has attracted over 6 million views and more than 4,300 comments.

The video begins with Destin holding a small plastic pot, and exclaiming, “I’ve got 1,500 live ladybugs ready to set loose in my garden!” He explains that he is holding a pot of live ladybugs, and that he’s going to unleash them on his milkweed plants, which are “infested with azalea aphids.” After he opens the pot, footage shows the ladybugs crawling all over the plant and devouring the piles of yellow aphids.

A ladybug eating aphids.
A screenshot of @texasgardenguy’s video shows a ladybug heading for a small pile of yellow aphids.

“These guys are at a buffet right now, and the aphids are freaking out. You can literally see him eating the aphid,” Destin says in the clip. “I’m gonna leave him overnight and give you an update in the morning. This is awesome. This is a perfect way to control aphids in your garden without having to spray chemicals.”

Fellow TikTokers didn’t hold back their surprise and delight. @marieann911 wrote, “I swear im like really scared of lady bugs and i thing its the first time i realize they can be usefull (they still scare me though).”

Platform users with green fingers also chimed in, with @kgshields86 commenting, “Totally doing this for our garden this year! We had 3 crops destroyed from aphids last year,” and @gutigwolfe writing, “A lot better than pesticides. All natural pest control.”

That user is entirely correct, according to information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Ladybugs (officially called Coccinellidae) are “considered beneficial,” according to USDA, because, for roughly 90 percent of species, their main food sources are aphids, scale insects, whiteflies, mealy bugs, and mites. As such, they are “important biological control agents of such arthropod pests.”

This delighted some TikTokers so much that they requested more videos. For example, @elizabethjones109 wrote, “Noooo I need a whole series lol I’m invested in this.”

Other platform users offered up whimsical factoids, including @user5189874080682 who wrote, “a group of ladybirds is called a loveliness.”

And @naomiwallace321 wrote what many of us were thinking while watching the ladybugs hoover up those pesky aphids: “Satisfying.”


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