A Ladybug is a small, round, spotted, winged insect that is part of the Coccinellidae family of beetles. They are usually brightly colored and the most classically familiar is the red ladybug. Ladybugs can be yellow, green, orange, grey, white and brown. Some ladybugs even have black bodies with brightly colored spots. Ladybugs are known by a variety of other names such as ladybirds (UK, Ireland, Australia, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, India, and Malta) and lady beetles. They may also be called lady clock, lady cow and lady fly. The lady part of the name is said to refer to the seven spots on the beetle which were seen to represent the seven sorrow of the Virgin Mary.
What Do Ladybugs Eat?
Many gardeners welcome the presence of ladybugs in their gardens because of their diet. Ladybugs will prey on any insect that is smaller than themselves. They have large appetites and are favored by farmers because they will eat insect pests such as aphids (small soft-bodied, sap-sucking insects) that would easily destroy valuable crops. Ladybugs also like to feed on the larvae of many insects stopping the spread of these insects throughout a garden or crop. By the end of its three to six weeks life span a ladybug larvae will eat some 5000 aphids. There are some species of ladybug that eat plants rather than insects the Mexican Bean Ladybug and the Squash Ladybug will devours crops of beans and squash.
What Do Ladybugs Eat When Kept As Pets?
Ladybugs can be kept as pets temporarily during the winter or early spring. When keeping a ladybug as a pet they will happily eat moistened raisins or other non acidic fruit. They also require some water so it is best to place moist leaves into their environments to allow them to drink water when required. If you are able to catch some aphids you can feed these to your Ladybug pet.