ODo you want to know who the most respected and attention-shifting insect is? Then, you should be looking for ladybugs; they dominate the spring season, as they come out in their numbers, causing shades of beauty like icings on the cakes, as they hang around houses, logs, snowdrifts, and even the ground, sometimes; especially, in the United States, the south-western region, particularly.
Speaking on their growth and development, average ladybug births between 300 to 3000 eggs, while maturity occurs after 7 weeks; there are over 5,000 species of ladybugs, and 450 alone, are from the United States.
They are known for temperate areas, however, you can get to see them in weed patches, gardens, weeds, and in the forest.
Interestingly, the male ladybug is known as a ladybug as well, the only means of differentiation or identification is by size, but you might be suffering your eyes by trying to detect this.
A microscope will have to do the job for you. They are a great alternative to insecticides for farming, a couple of farmers prefer having them on their lands, to chase pest and destruction-driven insects away.
Although for everything good, moderation is needed, hence, you will need to be watchful of the number of ladybugs you let free on your farmland.
Ladybugs or lady beetles, as some people call them, feeds on insects, this is the amazing reason why farmers sort for them. It is said that the name was coined with Virgin Mary, Our Lady, in mind.
Since farmers, European farmers, particularly, noticed the ladybugs at sight whenever they finish prayer for an end to the pest troubling their crops.
And they do not only show up but eat up all hurts in insects clothing, laying damage on the land; what a story that births a quasi-smile. Nevertheless, you would want to know more about our beautiful ladybugs, isn’t it? Keep reading for a full list.
What Do Ladybugs Eat?
Ladybugs consume varieties of food for survival, but the basic remains insects and pests. Aphids are one of their favourites, along with insects with soft and easy-to-grind bodies like mildew, plants, pollen, and even other bugs (Mealybugs and others).
The omnivorous ones go with insects to survive, while the herbivorous ones prefer fungi and plant materials. They could also go for mites, coccids, and organisms.
Take a look at the set of favourites ladybugs selects to settle her hunger:
||Aphids, Whiteflies, Leafhopper, Mites, Plant Lice, Spiders (not all), Chinch bugs, freckle bugs, physopods, harvest bugs, thunder blights, storm bugs and Mealybugs|
||Mildew, Nectar, Fungi, Cotton, and Pollen|
||Butterflies, mites, other ladybugs and beetles|
||Legumes, Dates, Grapes, Peaches, Berries, Cucumbers, Figs, Plums, Raspberries, Pears, Cherries, Nectarines, Blueberries, Peaches, and Raisins|
||Mites, Moths, Butterflies, Corn Borer, Maggots, Moth caterpillar, nymphs, Young corn borer larvae, and other ladybugs|
Aphids are known to cause harm to plants, and Ladybugs do not take it lightly with them, since they act beyond their names, they heat a lot; eating like over 5000 Aphids in their entire life.
Notwithstanding, not the entirety of the ladybugs in carnivorous clothing eat aphids, others sort for Colorado potato beetle, European corn borer’s eggs, Mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects.
The majority of ladybugs eat aphids, but not all of them, plants and insects are where the cards lie, as species determines the item of consumption.
There is various kind of things ladybugs eat, we have them into sections, namely: the coccidophagous, the mycophagous, aphidophagous, microphagous, polliniferous, and the phytophagous, who deed on each thing they imply.
The Coccinellidae, which is one of the widespread ladybugs that do come in their small sizes, are with over 6000 species around the world, and they eat small insects and aphids, even immediately they get hatched.
On the other hand, eggs are another thing they eat; considering moths, Colorado potato beetle, corn borer.
Corn borer can mostly be found in leaves’ clusters, where their development looks similar to beetle and ladybugs’ eggs, which makes it tasty and easy to consume by them.
Most of the eggs ladybugs consumes are subtle in nature, small in size, moderate in shape, and bathe with a general kind of colour. While they put on check the kind of insects or eggs they set to prey on; they are always defenceless or weakened whenever ladybugs set their mighty hands on them.
Hence, the smallest sizes of the larva are what they consume; the bigger the larva, the more problematic it is for consumption.
ALSO SEE: How Can I Prevent Termites from Eating Wood
Corn Borer larvae
Ladybugs eat corn borer larvae when they are in their first stage of growth, between 2-20mm in size. These eggs serve as a source of protein for the ladybugs, and luckily it takes 7 weeks and a day for a corn borer larvae to be matured, what a great snack for ladybugs!
For butterfly caterpillars, are another proteinous diet for ladybugs, but not all butterfly caterpillar’s eggs can be eaten by them. Based on the fact that some do have a string-like defence system even in their little body.
Mites & Nymphs
At mites and nymphs’ pupa stage is when ladybugs eat their cake without any cause for alarm. Quite a number of them do ladybugs mount on, with size in check; mayflies, dragonflies, and locusts are another thing that might make a hungry thing twice.
Whiteflies, chinch bugs, thrips, corn fleas, thunder blights, thunder flies, harvest bugs, and other small insects with a millimetre in measurement, are another set of small insects that ladybugs eat.
These insects got doings that are similar to that of aphids, they are known and seen in climates with warm temperatures. Mealybugs are also called Scale insects, their unclad bodies make it easy for ladybugs to consume, alongside the popular Malaysian Ladybird Beetle.
As the name implies, the leafhopper hops around plants while walking. It is just as easy as twinkling your eyes when ladybugs get to see leafhoppers at sight, they need not stress to get them in their tummy.
Jumping Plant Lice
It is quite eminent that most of the insects that ladybugs find as prey got some similarities; just as the jumping plant lice got attributes like the whiteflies, and aphids- all belonging to the set of nutrients-lessening insects for plants.
What Do Ladybugs Eat Besides Aphids?
Apart from aphids, ladybugs eat every other insect that is known to attack plants, leaves, butterflies and maggots’ larvae, etc., they are fond of eating them with a high and fast consumption level.
Although they do not live for a long while, they do make their existence a well-spent exercise. Researchers have it that an average ladybug feeds on 5,000 plus aphids, asides from other food it consumes, while she lays a thousand eggs in total.
As an additional list of other things ladybugs eat asides from aphids, keep your reading intact, it is not far away:
- Small spiders
- Butterfly caterpillars
- Other ladybugs
- Eggs of Colorado potato beetle
- Dates and Figs
- Nectarines, Pears, and Peaches
- Plums, Grains, and Raisins
- Raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries
- Mildew, Nectar, Fungi, and Pollen
- Grapes, Cucumbers
- Jumping plant lice
- Small Arachnids
These ladybugs are good on farmlands, they will help hit up all pests to heaven’s way like a tennis bat against its ball; they will hit it hard for you, to the extent that a sound of happiness will drop in your mind.
However, it is a different case if these folks, in their multitudes, get in contact with your home. Hence, you ought to be watchful, moderation is needed on everything.
What Do Ladybugs Eat And Drink?
Ladybugs eat plant-destroying insects like aphids, maggots, scales, and a few others. They eat insects’ eggs, leaves and vegetables, as their body is kept hydrated by taking water directly from a natural source like drops rain on leaves, dew, as you can provide an artificial source, for clean and pure supply.
Honeydew, what is known as aphids’ secretion is another liquid item that ladybugs drink, asides from the fluids taken from the insects they eat, nectars from leaves, serving as a source of energy, and hydration host. Since ladybugs are mobile, you know hydration is a key factor to moving and living.
Do Ladybugs Eat Ants?
No, Ladybugs do not eat ants, except insects that have a similar body texture like theirs, which is soft and subtle. Ants only pull the horn if ladybugs try to feed on aphids in their presence. This is because aphids produce secretions that are of benefit to the ants.
Most times, ladybugs and ants switch roads or ignore the presence of each other. Ants are known to be somewhere in the clock when they want to quench their hunger or an immovable mountain that stands in the way in times of famishment.
Can Ladybugs Eat Chocolate?
You can feed your ladybugs with chocolate, but you need to do this with a little amount, because chocolate, is not a natural food substance with pure nutrients. Eating chocolate gives ladybugs joy like a block of bar soap, considering it as a sweet thing, you will want to watch how often you feed them, and the quantity given.
It goes well when the chocolate is placed on a stick, they get to happily remain with an infinite enjoyment, as they make royalty without being on a crown.
Can Ladybugs Eat Bananas?
Yes, ladybugs can eat bananas. Taking a shift from ladybugs’ favourite, aphids plus other insects with soft clothing, vegetables and fruits are other things they cherish so much; grapes, figs, dates, persimmons, papaya, and a host of others.
Fruits with low or no sugar content are the ride or die, grapes are sugar-filled; a great deal for ladybugs. Food that contains low acidic content can be given to your pet as well. However, you need to be certain of your species of ladybugs, because that all of them take fruits, else, you might be unknowingly putting an innocent heart to dust.
Can Ladybugs Eat Carrots?
Yes, they do eat carrots. Since some ladybugs are omnivorous, while others are herbivorous, of which they go for flowers, pollen and plants, they also feed on carrots. It serves some interesting benefits that make them barely stop eating it up.
Some of the benefits of carrots to ladybugs are the fibres given to help boost the antibodies that keep their immune system at the topmost, as infections are driven far away from their body.
Ladybugs eat carrots for an amazing body texture and exo-skeletal functioning.
Can Ladybugs Eat Strawberries?
The families of berries such as the blackberries, and blueberries, are ideal for ladybugs, but strawberries along are better, along with raisins and apricot, provided they have been rehydrated.
Other similar fruits that can be given to ladybugs other than strawberries and her host, are honey, bugs, peaches, flowers, and a few plants; which are consumed based on the particular species of your ladybug you are handling.
Can Ladybugs Eat Oranges?
A typical orange which is made up of a sugar content measured 12 grams, can be eaten by ladybugs since they fall in love with fruits, especially those with a reasonable amount of sugar in them.
As far as the circle of orange is with a feeling that makes a human close the eyes and imagine beyond space, the ladybugs will find happiness in consuming such. Papaya, bananas, persimmons, figs, and grapes are the names of ladybugs’ favourite bite against hunger.
Can Ladybugs Eat Apples?
Yes, ladybugs can eat apples. It provides energy for them; the sugar content in apples makes moving from a plant to another or different movement possible by ladybugs. Fruits with a low acidic ratio is another food for consumption for your ladybugs.
They can eat several kinds of fruits, the sweetness in them all is what drives ladybugs to not loveless. However, pineapple, blue plums, grapefruits, lemons, pomegranates, limes, and the likes are not to be given to your ladybugs.
A balanced diet is an important factor worth considering when it comes to animal care, hence, you will want to feed your ladybugs with other things apart from apples and fruits.
Can Ladybugs Eat Cucumbers?
Just like lettuce, cucumbers are a great vegetarian plug for your ladybugs. Mixing them with food like plants, aphids, insects eggs, of which they will fetch themselves whenever you allow set loose.
Cucumbers give them great nutritional benefits that make room for a healthy room; these nutrients are fibres, proteins, magnesium, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, calories, carbs, potassium and other advantageous takes.
Can Ladybugs Eat Lettuce?
It only becomes wrong if you do not give your ladybugs lettuce to eat. It is ideal for them, no matter the amount you intend to feed them, ensure your ladybugs eat lettuce on daily basis.
Do consider the amount, anyway, because regret sleeps in anything that is done in excess.
Speaking on keeping them satisfied, you must give enough food at least once or at maximum, two times, every day. And once in a while, you are to keep it out of the permanently closed doors to keep it refreshed and healthy.
Can Ladybugs Eat Grass?
Ladybugs are not known to eating grass, instead, that got ground professionalism in having plant-destroying insects as a meal. You can call them predators for aphids, and other bugs; nevertheless, they are some ladybugs species that you would not want to place a step on your farm or in your garden.
The Squash Beetle along with her friend, the Mexican bean beetle are the species of ladybugs that consume plants and grasses. An army of them can turn a garden into a desert.
This is because they are herbivorous, and they come in order of the Coleoptera, from the Epilachninae family; not only do they eat grasses and plants, they infest lawns, eat tubers, potatoes, particularly, among others.
Can Ladybugs Eat Orange Peels?
Orange peels are uneasy to digest by your ladybugs, therefore, ladybugs do not eat orange peels. Eating them can lead to pain, intense discomfort, or severe clinical problems capable of beating life away from its treasonous residence.
Although orange peels are known to house, vitamin C, compounds such as polyphenols, fibre, and other nutrients, ladybugs are comfortable with soft-body insects with aphids’ attributes, apart from other plants, vegetables, and larvae that they eat. Orange peel is not just a turn-on for ladybugs.
Why Ladybugs Have Spots And Colours?
Without having a second thought, it is always a beetle with a light reddish basement with a few black spots permanently hanging around it like stars in the sky, that is pictured, whenever we hear the ladybugs. Since that can be lie-free, there are several species of ladybugs, and the spots and colours are natural.
Those are the commonest of them all; they are either called the seven-spot ladybug or coccinella septempuncata, scientifically. You will easily get hold of them in gardens and houses since these qualities are all theirs. However, ladybugs are in their tens when it comes to the types, while their habitation defers as well.
While you will come in the orange, red, brown, black, or yellow colour palate, others are royal in their distinct blue and orange or white and black. The patterns on their exoskeleton body is another thing to behold, checked pattern, stripped and spotted are countable in their numbers.
What Is The Defence Mechanism Of A Ladybug?
You might be wondering if these gentle insects with such a beauty live all through her life without getting into trouble, whereby she is meant to escape; the truth is that more untold stories lie in her mouth; let us be her spokesperson.
Just as they are predators of aphids and other plant-destroying insects, they are also prey to birds and even fellow insects that are bigger than they appear. Ladybugs got tricks when it comes to saving herself from danger.
A way by which ladybugs defence themselves is by giving some colours that pass the message of “the insects you are trying to hunt is toxic and poisonous in nature, do not come close”, they make it be like they are not the right insect for their predators’ consumption.
Another gimmick ladybugs display is by acting dead, while a little amount of fluid is discharged from her legs. The smell of the fluid alone is enough turn off for such a predator. The fluid, which is known as Pyrazine, is made up of hemolymph and chemicals that are known as reflex bleeding.
The discharge eludes from the ladybug’s abdomen, and it seems extremely bad when predators have a taste of this fluid. Although the ladybugs do not have jaws, they got the prowess to bite whenever an alarm is loud.
Who Are The Natural Predators To Ladybug?
It is said that a captain of a ship in a place, could be a ship compartment in another. So is the case for ladybug the sniper that takes the lives of all plant-destroying insects. Ladybugs natural predators are martins, magpies, crows, swifts, mockingbirds, kingbirds, bluebirds, swallows, pewees, and thrashers.
These aforementioned birds are capable of consuming ladybugs for any meal of the day because they are immune to all toxic discharge from ladybugs.
Other predators which are insects are the robber fly, dragonflies, and assassin bugs, as Dinocampus Coccinellidae, kills with their tact-team doings, which is to lay eggs in the ladybugs, who ends up killing the host when they are old enough to live outside the host.
Toads, frogs, some spiders, like the cellar and joro spiders, and salamander love ladybugs so much that they see food when they are sighted. A few mites are not exempted from the list.
Hesperomyces and Laboulbeniales, fellow fungi, kill through infection. Lastly, some ladybugs with killing dexterity are on the watch for fellow ladybugs, of which they do not know, no other reason rather than the fact that they are anti-ladybug toxically immune just like the birds above.