Seattle Parks employs ladybugs to fight unwanted garden pests

Ladybug larvae in Bell Street Park.

This year Seattle has seen a mild winter and an unusually dry summer – the perfect conditions for an aphid infestation. Recently our Friends of Bell Street Park members reported large population of aphids living in the Tulip Trees at Bell Street Park. Since Seattle Parks and Recreation doesn’t spray trees, our crews came up with an eco-friendly solution to the problem – ladybugs.

Seattle Parks senior gardeners released ladybugs into Bell Street Park this month with the hopes that they would lay eggs and their larvae would feed on the aphids. Within a few short days, the gardeners saw tremendous results.

“Ladybug larvae are the cutest little guys and can do quite a number on a large number of aphids,” Senior Gardener Lisa Papineau said. “The trees are covered with voracious hunters all ready.”