Ladybugs – Identification, Types, and Interesting Facts
These tiny, colorful insects aren’t just loved for their appearance. Gardeners absolutely love having ladybugs in their yard as these bugs are known for eating plant-eating pests. It may also surprise you that they are quite diverse. According to National Geographic, there are about 5,000 species of ladybugs around the world.
Interesting Facts About Ladybugs
There is so much to learn about ladybugs. Here are the most interesting facts you may have never heard about when it comes ladybugs.
1. Ladybugs are Important for Gardening
As we briefly mentioned earlier, gardeners and pretty much anyone involved in agricultural appreciate the presence of ladybugs because they are known for eating plant-eating pests like aphids. They have quite the appetite too. A single ladybug could end up eating up to 5,000 aphids during its lifetime.
2. The Spots Have a Purpose
There is a good reason why their dome-shaped red body has spots all over. One of the main purposes of the distinctive spots is to make the ladybugs unappealing to predators like birds and frogs. Imagine you had a plate of ladybugs in front of you. You would most likely think that they taste absolutely awful based on their appearance.
3. Ladybugs Hibernate in Winter
Yes, even ladybugs hibernate once the weather starts to get cold. The bugs will start looking for warm places in order to hibernate. This may include decaying logs, gaps under rocks, or even your house (some gardeners like to attract the ladybugs by setting up ladybug houses). This would explain why some people don’t have much of a liking for ladybugs, especially when a swarm of them try to settle inside the house.
4. Some Ladybugs may bite
Ladybugs in most case have a friendly reputation but they have been known to “bite” in rare circumstances. The bite, however, isn’t from their mouth. It typically happens when they pinch with their legs. According to the Healthline, ladybug bites may cause harm if you are allergic to them.
How to Identify Ladybugs
There are thousands of ladybug species around the world but you are only likely to come across a few of these species during your lifetime. Here are the most common types of ladybugs you may encounter in the yard.
Asian Lady Beetle
The Asian lady beetle has an oval, convex body reaching a length of up to 1/4-inch long. They are known to appear in a range of colors, including orange and red. They are mostly beneficial from a pest control sense but can also be a nuisance as the cold weather approaches. This would be the reason why people start looking for ways to get rid of the ladybugs during fall and winter.
7 Spot Ladybirds
As their name implies, these species of ladybirds are easy to identify due to their red wing case and seven spot body pattern. The adults like to hibernate in hollow plant stems. You may also see them in clusters.
2 Spot Ladybirds
They look similar to the 7 spot ladybirds except they only have two dark spots on their wing case. The two-spot ladybirds are frequently sighted in a wide variety of habitats, including parks and backyard gardens. You are likely to spot them inside during winter.