Any gardener who has been around long enough will inevitably learn who their enemies are and where to find allies. If you don’t know what I mean, just watch a recent TikTok video by @texasgardenguy, who wanted 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 and 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 have 1,500 live ladybugs ready to let loose in my garden!” He explains that he is holding a pot of live ladybugs and that he is opening them will release his milkweed plants that are “infested with azalea aphids.” After he opens the pot, the footage shows the ladybugs crawling over the plant and devouring the clusters of yellow aphids.
“These guys are at a buffet and the aphids are freaking out. You can literally see him eating the aphid,” Destin says in the clip. “I’ll leave it overnight and give you an update in the morning. That’s great. This is a perfect way to control aphids in your garden without having to spray chemicals.”
Other TikTokers didn’t hold back their surprise and delight. @marieann911 wrote: “I swear I’m really scared of ladybugs and I think this is the first time I’ve realized they can be useful (they still scare me though).”
Green thumbed platformers also chimed in, with @kgshields86 commenting: “We totally did this for our garden this year! We had 3 crops destroyed by aphids last year,” and @gutigwolfe wrote, “Much better than pesticides. All natural pest control.”
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), this user is absolutely right. Ladybugs (officially called Coccinellidae) are considered “useful” by the USDA because their primary food sources are aphids, scale insects, whiteflies, mealybugs, and mites for about 90 percent of the species. As such, they are “important biological control agents for such arthropod pests”.
This pleased some TikTokers so much that they requested more videos. For example, @elizabethjones109 wrote, “No I need a whole series lol I’m invested in it.”
Other platform users offered quirky facts, including @user5189874080682, who wrote: “A cluster of ladybugs is referred to as loveliness.”
And @naomiwallace321 wrote what many of us were thinking as we watched the ladybugs suck up those pesky aphids: “Satisfying.”
https://www.newsweek.com/gardening-ladybug-hack-viral-tiktok-aphids-natural-pestcontrol-1708635 Garden hack with ladybugs wows the internet