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Maybe you’ve spotted one sitting atop one of your favorite bushes or flowers. Maybe you’ve seen them milling about in your garden. You might have even spotted them in the home on occasion. Whatever the situation, there is simply no denying that the ladybug is one of the sweetest little insects around. Even the individual most terrified of insects or bugs won’t run in the opposite direction at the site of one of these multi-colored beetles. If you’re feeling especially friendly, you might even consider picking one of these little guys up and letting it crawl around in your hand.
Kids like to play with them, adults enjoy looking at them, and farmers even enjoy their presence. In many cultures, the presence of ladybugs is considered good luck. While these small little insects might be one of nature’s most beloved insects, it doesn’t, unfortunately, make them any less of a nuisance. Therefore, it is best to arm yourself with the most knowledge possible. This will not only make you a more informed homeowner, but it will go miles towards your elimination and detection efforts.
They Actually Aren’t Bugs
Despite their namesake, these beautifully colored insects aren’t technically considered bugs. They are beetles of the insect class. The easiest way to distinguish them from other insects is by examining their wings and mouthparts. Their mouth will be equipped to chew voraciously while their wings will be erected with a hard shell. As for the lady portion of their name, this is something that came from European farmers in the late 1800s. During this time, European farmers were having such a hard time with pests eating their crops that they began praying to Virgin Mary for refuge.
It wasn’t long after that the beetle showed up and started feeding on these pests. It wasn’t long after that the farmers started referring to them as the Beetle of Our Lady. This eventually got shortened to the ladybug.
They Can Vary In Color
When most people think of the ladybug, they tend to think of a red-bodied beetle with black spots. These beetles are known for their signature red and black appearance. However, these aren’t the only color combinations for the pest. Some of these beautiful beetles can have color markings that range anywhere from yellow to pink, white, orange, blue, and on occasion, spot-free. These colors no doubt add to the overall beauty and uniqueness of the pest, but they also serve a very distinct purpose.
The colors are a representation for other insects to back off, letting them know that the insect poses a threat, despite their size. When threatened, the ladybug possesses the ability to secrete a toxic substance that is a threat to most formidable foes.
They Aren’t Always A Farmer’s Friend
Given their pest-controlling abilities, many would consider the beetle a farmer’s best friend. There is no denying they can be extremely useful in the right situations. You might have a soft spot for these beautiful beetles as well, but you already know they can be a nuisance in the home. Unfortunately, things are no different for the farmer. These pests might control and kill other nuisance pests, but they can ruin crops. As a matter of fact, these small, little insects can ruin crops on a large-scale level.
In many cases, they stand to do the same amount of damage as the insects they eat. Whiteflies, mites, and other aphids are just amongst a few. What’s even more interesting is the fact they can eat up to 5,000 pests in their lifetime, making them a go-to pest solution for any farmer with an insect problem.
One can see that the ladybug, as beautiful as they are, can be a major nuisance. Given the chance, that’s just what they’ll be. Therefore, we always have highly trained and qualified specialists standing by ready to assist.