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March 10, 2010

The Ladybug

The ladybug or lady beetle belongs to the family of beetles known as Coccinellidae. These small insects, ranging from 1 mm to 10 mm (0.04 to 0.4 inches), and are commonly yellow, orange, or scarlet with small black spots on their wing covers, black legs, head and antennae.

Coccinellids are found worldwide, with over 5,000 species described, more than 450 native to North America alone. A few species are pests in North America and Europe, but they are generally considered useful insects as many species feed on aphids or scale insects, which are pests in gardens, agricultural fields, orchards, and similar places.

Duriing the winter months, ladybugs seek refuge indoors. If the little ladies have already entered your home, use a vacuum to remove them. It is important to dispose of the bag outdoors to prevent the insects from crawling out.

Ladybugs are known to secrete an oily yellow liquid when disturbed, and release an odor just before they die, so squishing them is not suggested. If you have a ladybug infestation, give Dave a call at 1-800-400-6009.

Fun Facts:
  • The Mall of America in Minnesota, for instance, releases thousands of ladybugs into its indoor park as a natural means of pest control for its gardens.
  • A common myth is that the number of spots on its back indicates its age. 
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