Ladybugs Are Cute, but They Can Cause Problems Too
Ladybugs are the cute cousin of the common beetle that children love to find. For gardeners, however, ladybugs are not as coveted due to the characteristic damage that they may leave behind in a backyard garden or flowerbed. Here are some facts about this widespread insect.
Aren’t All Ladybugs the Same?
The first type of ladybug is the round ladybug. Within the round-shaped variety, there are two main subgroups.
- Coccinella septempunctata – Seven Spotted Ladybug – This insect has black spots along the top of their wing coverings and two white or pale spot one either side of their head. . It eats mostly insects and pollen.
- Harmonia axyridis – Multicolored Asian Ladybug - Its color ranges from yellow to red, with or without spots on the wing coverings. The head is concealed beneath a shield (pronotum) and may also have spots that form an M shape. It enjoys insects, grapes and fruits.
The other type often encountered is the oval-shaped ladybug. Here are two of the most common species for this shape.
- Hippodamia convergens –Convergent Ladybug – This species is the most common of ladybugs in the US. The head shield (pronotum) is outlined white.
- Coleomegilla maculata – Spotted Ladybug – This vibrantly colored ladybug has six black spots on each side of its wing covering and a pink or red base. It eats common garden pests and pollen.
Ladybugs Can Look Different
Generally ladybugs are either round or oval shaped, with six legs, a black head, club antennae and a pair of thin wings used for flying. They come in a variety of colors such as pink, red, orange or yellow. Some species have the black spots that these animals are known for. Other types of ladybugs are marked with stripes, and some are solid. Many ladybugs additionally have white spots on their heads.
Where You’ll Find Ladybugs In and Around Your Home
In the winter, many homeowners find ladybugs inside of their homes, where they may be hibernating. When the temperature rises, however, these insects travel to be near their most enjoyed food sources. You may find them in your garden on the underside of the plants or on the trees around your property.
Eggs can be found close to where ladybugs like to feed. Larvae hatch on the edges of leaves or in trees and shrubs that the adult ladybugs have frequented.
Can You Prevent Ladybugs?
If you want to prevent ladybugs from gathering inside your home, a pest control company may be able to offer products to stop them from collecting along your windows and doorways. There are many chemical and organic solutions out there that can solve this problem.
Are They Harmful?
In some instances, ladybugs can be helpful as they eat other types of garden nuisances. Some species of ladybugs, however, may feed on your garden itself, if other food sources, such as insects, are not available.