Ladybugs are generally thought of as being lucky. Apparently this came about from gardeners who had bugs such as aphids, scale or whiteflies eating their plants but as soon as the ladybug showed up they knew help had arrived. It is said that if a ladybug lands on your finger one wish will be granted or if one flies into your bedroom this too will bring good luck.
With over 5000 different species worldwide the ladybug is almost universally thought of as beneficial. 450 species are found in North America and come in a wide variety of colors and arrangement of markings. The classic red with black spots is what most people think of when speaking of ladybugs but some have no markings at all and even entomologists have trouble identifying the different kinds or figuring out the beetles that closely resemble them but are in fact not ladybugs.
Both the larvae and the adult beetles are voracious eaters feeding mainly on aphids and other sap eating insects. The bright colors of the bug is a defense against would be predators and if attacked they ‘bleed’ out an obnoxious ooze. If food becomes scarce the adults simply fly to another location but the nymphal stages do not fly so the female lays unfertilized eggs that can serve as food for the young in these tough times.
Although these beetles are not harmful they can at times infest homes in large numbers when the weather turns cold. It seems impossible for this bright almost round beetle to get in your home let alone congregate in large numbers usually on your window sill. If you’ll notice, it is almost always on the south side of your home and the ladybug is excellent at squeezing into cracks and finding her way in. Ladybugs do not hibernate but over winter which is a fancy way of saying she sleeps the cold months away waiting for spring. Normally they’ll crawl into the bark of a tree or another safe haven in which to spend the winter months. If they can get into your home they will and they are probably on the window sill for the warmth. They aren’t dead in most cases but I wouldn’t spray them. Either leave them be until spring or sweep them into a container and let them fly away when it warms up. Great project for kids!
If one ladybug is considered good luck then count yourself fortunate for the many that have graced your home and start wishing, by the looks of it you’ve got a lot of good things coming your way.
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