What do ladybugs look like?
Ladybugs can come in many colors and patterns, but are typically easy to identify. Most lady beetles are small, round insects with six legs and a shiny red, orange, yellow or brown body with dark markings. Not all ladybugs have spots, however, entomologists believe that most of the insects share this trait as a defense mechanism, warning predators that they taste bad and could be poisonous.
What are the habits of ladybugs?
Ladybugs are considered important insects in agricultural areas because they consume plant-eating insects like aphids, mealybugs, mites, and scale insects that typically harm crops and plants. That being said, there are a few species of ladybugs that can be destructive to plants themselves, including the Mexican bean beetle and the squash beetle.
Ladybug populations tend to grow during the spring and summer months. In the fall and winter, lady beetles seek protected places to live including leaves, rocks, timber, and occasionally buildings and homes.
What are the risks of having a ladybug infestation?
While most ladybugs don’t pose major health threats to humans, there are a few reasons why you should prevent the entry of these insects into your home:
- Some species of ladybugs are known to aggravate asthma and cause allergic reactions.
- Ladybugs secrete a yellow, defensive liquid with a foul smell that can stain surfaces it comes into contact with.
- Some species of ladybugs can have toxic effects on pets if eaten or ingested.
- Ladybugs stick together to hibernate in the winter. If one ladybug gets into your house, it’s likely that many others will as well, causing a general nuisance to you and your family.