10 Things You Didn’t Know About Ladybugs

Learn why you want this charming insect in your backyard.

  1. They can have as many as 16 spots, but some ladybugs have no spots at all.
  2. While most ladybugs are good, there is one nonnative species that people don’t like. The Asian lady beetle was introduced in California in 1916. Today it’s more common in the East.
  3. A ladybug can eat up to 50 aphids a day.
  4. One of the most common ladybugs is the seven-spotted lady beetle. It has seven black spots on its back.
  5. Females will lay up to 1,000 eggs within a few months, generally from spring to early summer.
  6. You might hear ladybugs go by a few different names, including: Ladybirds, Ladybugs, Lady beetles and Lady cows.
  7. Ladybugs usually protect themselves from predators in one of two ways: They either play dead or secrete a fluid from their legs to make themselves taste bad.
  8. One common belief about ladybugs is that you can tell their age by their number of spots, but this is a myth.
  9. You can find out about 6,000 different species of ladybugs around the world. There are about 500 species in the United States alone.
  10. Ladybugs are great garden predators. Here are six “bad bugs” they’ll eat:
    • Aphids
    • Mites
    • Whiteflies
    • Scale insects
    • Mealybugs
    • Thrips

Kaitlin Stainbrook
Kaitlin Stainbrook, Associate Editor, Birds & Blooms Although Kaitlin is a newbie when it comes to birding and gardening, she loves getting to learn on the job. (She's already impressed a few friends by being able to identify a couple songbirds!) Previously, she worked on other Reader's Digest magazines like Reminisce and Country Woman. Hidden talents include playing the ukulele and speaking Japanese.