Like many insects and animals, ladybugs are misnamed. Ladybugs are beetles, not bugs. The ladybird beetle, as it is known in Europe, was named after the Virgin Mary in the Middle Ages.
Today, they are native to almost all of North America, with approximately 400 different species, 98 of which live in Florida. Entomologists have identified approximately 4,500 species worldwide. With so many different species, it's no surprise that ladybugs come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
A Closer Look: Ladybugs
Are Ladybugs Pollinators?
Brightly colored flowers entice a variety of animals, from hummingbirds to honeybees, to visit the plants in search of nectar and potential pollination. Ladybugs, which are only 1/2 inch long, can easily enter tightly constructed flowers, such as tubular flowers, to gain access to nutritious nectar.
Ladybugs eat garden pests, such as aphids. A ladybug can eat up to 5,000 aphids in its lifetime, both as a larva and as an adult.
Ladybugs lay their eggs on a leaf or grass blade with an active aphid colony to increase larvae success. When the larvae hatch from the eggs, they have a ready-made meal. Because the larvae cannot fly to flowers for nectar, a varied diet is essential for ladybugs.
Ladybugs pollinate flowers in addition to protecting your favorite garden plants from aphid damage. They move pollen and fertilize the flowers as they move among them, allowing them to produce seeds.
They choose flowering plants with lots of leaves for hiding spots. Ladybugs can thrive while searching for aphids and nectar among the foliage.
Are Ladybugs Beneficial Insects?
Most species of this beetle family are highly beneficial insects, but some have a habit of overwintering in structures, causing them to become nuisance pests.
Many ladybug species are important beneficial insects because they consume plant-eating insects such as aphids, mealybugs, mites, and scale insects, which harm crops and plants in gardens.
Ladybug populations typically increase during the spring and summer months because the seasons favor tender foliage and aphid infestations. Adults seek safe havens to overwinter in the autumn, such as under leaves, rocks, and landscape timbers.
Other ladybug species have been observed living in structures such as buildings and homes.
Are Ladybugs Dangerous?
The majority of ladybug species do not pose a health risk to humans.
The multicolored Asian lady beetle, on the other hand, is known to aggravate asthma and cause allergic reactions in some people, which is a strong reason for ladybug pest control. Furthermore, they exude a viscous yellow, foul-smelling defensive fluid that can stain anything it comes into contact with.
Rid-A-Bug Ladybug Pest Control
The most effective way to get rid of ladybugs or prevent them from entering homes and buildings is to seal cracks around windows, doors, siding, and utility pipes, behind chimneys, and underneath the wood fascia and other openings.
If a ladybug infestation has developed inside a house or building, contact Rid-A-Bug to help remove these beetles from your home. For more information, visit our website.