Are Ladybugs Harmful?
Oct 03, 2022
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Ladybug sitting on yellow flower

Though they're sometimes considered a nuisance when they invade homes in large numbers, ladybugs are not harmful and are actually quite beneficial to gardens and agriculture. That's because they feast on aphids and other small pests that can damage crops. In fact, many farmers and gardeners encourage ladybugs to take up residence in their fields and greenhouses! Learn how to identify ladybugs and if they are dangerous or not.

What Are Ladybugs?

Ladybugs are small, round, and often brightly colored beetles that belong to the family Coccinellidae. Also known as ladybird beetles or ladybirds, these friendly little insects are found all over the world.

Appearance

Ladybugs come in a wide range of bright colors and patterns, but the most common variety is red with black spots. Some ladybugs have more spots, while others have none at all. The number of spots on a ladybug's back can also vary depending on the species.

Habitat

Ladybugs can be found in fields, gardens, and other open spaces all over the world. They often congregate in large numbers, especially when aphids are plentiful. In the winter months, many ladybugs will seek shelter indoors to escape the cold weather.

Diet

Ladybugs are predators and primarily eat aphids and other small insects. However, they will also feed on pollen and nectar when necessary.

Benefits to Humans

As natural pest control agents, ladybugs are extremely beneficial insects to gardens and crops, eating aphids and other harmful insects to keep plants healthy and free from damage. Ladybugs are also popular among children and adults alike for their cute appearance.

Are Ladybugs Dangerous?

No, ladybugs are not dangerous. However, they can emit a foul-smelling liquid from their leg joints as a form of self-defense. This liquid can cause irritation if it comes into contact with your skin. If you have an allergy to ladybugs, you may experience more severe reactions such as swelling, difficulty breathing, and anaphylaxis. If you are allergic to ladybugs, it is important to seek medical attention immediately if you come into contact with one.

Do Ladybugs Bite?

While ladybugs do not sting, they can bite when feeling threatened. These bites do not cause serious injury or spread disease, especially as ladybug bites rarely break the skin. In rare cases, individuals may experience a minor allergic reaction in the form of a raised red bump.

Are Ladybugs Poisonous?

Yes, ladybugs are considered poisonous if ingested, as they contain a mild toxic component. While ingesting a single ladybug is not harmful to humans, if your pet has eaten several and is starting to show symptoms so as drooling, drowsiness, vomiting, or not pooping, you should call your veterinarian. 

How To Get Rid of Ladybugs

Ladybugs are known to infest homes in the fall and winter in search of a warm, safe space to hibernate. If you have a ladybug infestation, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them. You can try to -

  • Vacuum them up, but many will just fly away. 
  • Trap them with a sticky substance like honey or molasses. 
  • Seal off entry points by using door sweeps, thresholds, or weather stripping.
  • Plant ladybug repelling plants, such as mums and lavender.

However, the best way to get rid of ladybugs is to call a professional pest control company, such as Getem Services in Norfolk, as they will be able to give you effective insights to get rid of ladybugs in your home.

What Do Ladybugs Look Like?

Ladybugs are small, round insects that are usually red or orange in color. Some ladybugs may be yellow, brown, or black. They have spots on their wings, and their bodies are covered in tiny hairs. Ladybugs range in size from 1 to 10 millimeters.

Types of Ladybugs

There are over 5,000 different species of ladybugs in the world. The most common type in North America is the Convergent Lady Beetle, which has an orange or red body with black spots. Other popular types include the two-spotted lady beetle and the Asian lady beetle.

Where Do Ladybugs Live?

Ladybugs are found all over the world. They typically live in fields, gardens, and wooded areas where their prey is plentiful. In the winter months, many ladybugs will seek shelter indoors to escape the cold weather.

What Attracts Ladybugs?

Most ladybugs are attracted to bright, open spaces where they can bask in the sun and search for prey. They are also drawn to flowers, which provide them with a source of nectar. Ladybugs typically stay close to the ground, so they are often found in gardens or fields. Some species of ladybug will swarm in great numbers, while others are more solitary.

What Do Ladybugs Eat?

Ladybugs primarily eat aphids and other small insects. However, they will also eat other soft-bodied insects such as mites, whiteflies, and scale insects. Ladybugs will also eat pollen and nectar when their preferred food is scarce.

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