Rams Horn Village Resort eliminated pesticides in favor of using natural remedies, like ladybugs, to keep trees and wildlife healthy.
The grounds of Rams Horn Village Resort are a green, leafy oasis due to the abundance of trees amongst the vacation homes and common areas throughout the property. It’s an oasis that is attractive to Estes Park’s wildlife and guests.
“We are blessed with dozens of large mature trees on our resort that provide homes for abundant and varied types of birds, squirrels, as well as other larger mammals that visit our shaded acres, including deer, elk, bobcats and rare sightings of moose, bear and mountain lion,” said Deborah Gibson, co-owner, co-founder and General Manager of Rams Horn Village Resort. “We made the decision decades ago to keep our resort a safe environment for our guests and wildlife who dwell here by reducing and eliminating most pesticides.”
Ladybugs are insect predators. So, each year, Gibson and her staff release around one thousand ladybugs throughout the property to help keep aphids off the property’s cottonwood trees. Doing so keeps the resort’s magnificent trees healthy so they can continue to shade the grounds and provide homes and cover for the area’s wildlife.
The release takes place in the late spring or early summer, during a cool time of day. Staff times the release to occur just after it has rained and targets the areas most infested with aphids first to give the thirsty, hungry ladybugs plenty of reason to stick around. The effect is immediate. Ladybugs are known to bring infestation issues under control quickly.
Rams Horn avoids pesticides to keep the area’s animals healthy and the groundwater clean. “Reducing pesticides is important to many of our vacation homeowners and guests,” says Gibson. “We promote a natural experience in Estes Park. We should live it wherever possible.”
How you can release ladybugs at home
Plan your release for the right conditions according to where you live. Most sources cite late spring or early summer as the best time to release the insects and recommend doing so during a cool time of day. Release them on infested plants, trees or flowers recently watered or rained on to give them something to eat and drink immediately. Once liberated from their container, purchased or shipped, ladybugs will be hungry and thirsty. Giving them immediate access to food and water will encourage them to stick around.