Lady Bugs – Hippodamia convergens

Everybody’s Favorite Bug!

The Lady Bug Works Hard!

Ladybugs, also called lady beetles or ladybird beetles, are a very beneficial group of insects. Ladybugs are natural enemies of many insect pests and it has been demonstrated that a single ladybug may consume as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime. Ladybug adults have a very characteristic convex, hemispherical to oval body shape.

  • Both adults and larvae are predators, mostly of aphids.
  • There are almost 500 different species of lady bug in North America alone, nearly 5000 world wide.
  • Because Ladybugs eat lots of aphids and other pest insects, many gardeners and farmers use them for pest control instead of chemicals.
  • A Ladybug can lay up to 1000 eggs in its lifetime.
  • Not all Ladybugs have spots.
  • Ladybugs will clean themselves after a meal.
  • Ladybugs come in many colors like pink, yellow, white, orange and black.
  • Over 300 types of Ladybugs live in North America.
  • Ladybugs make a chemical that smells and tastes bad so predators won’t eat them.
  • Ladybugs hibernate in large groups in cold weather.
  • Many countries consider a ladybug to be a sign of good luck.
  • Ladybugs are actually beetles, so sometimes are called Lady Beetles.
  • The bright colors of Ladybugs warn birds that they don’t taste good.
  • The spots on a Ladybug fade as they get older.

lady bug on a dandelion

The first ladybug actually introduced (not native) to the United States was in California. This is a perfect example of how effective they are as pest predators in the garden… California citrus farmers imported trees from Australia. As you can imagine, the trees were accompanied with an Australian pest, the cottony cushion scale. The citrus farmers started to have problems with this insect destroying whole groves of their orange and lemon trees. It had no natural enemy in the new home. Since the scale was from Australia, they imported Australian Vedalia Ladybug and released them into their citrus orchards. Guess what? Within two years, their groves were thriving and no more problems.

Preferred food:
The most common of all beneficial insects, these voracious predators feed on aphids, chinch bugs, asparagus beetle larvae, thrips, alfalfa weevils, bean thrips, grape root worms, Colorado potato beetle larvae, whitefly, and mites, as well as many other soft-bodied insects and eggs. Extremely cost effective, too!

To encourage these helpful little pest eater into your garden, make sure they have food and water (moisture). Small and flat-faced flowers provide adults easy access to pollen and nectar: Plant alyssum, herbs from the dill and mint families, and flowers from the daisy family.

The Ready Store
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease" ~ Thomas Jefferson

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