Ladybug, Lady Beetle Beneficial Insect

Lady beetle Copy

Ladybugs are beneficial insects. One ladybug can eat 5,000 pest aphids in its lifetime.

Adult and young ladybugs also eat asparagus beetle larvae, Colorado potato beetle larvae, lace bugs, mealybugs, Mexican bean beetle larvae, scale, spider mites, whiteflies, and the eggs of several insects.

The ladybug is also called the lady beetle and the ladybird beetle.

Ladybugs consume pollen and nectar in addition to pest insects.

Attract and sustain ladybugs in your garden by planting pollen- and nectar-producing  plants such as cilantro, dill, fennel, oregano, thyme, yarrow, Queen Anne’s Lace, Coreopsis, bugleweed, and butterfly weed.

Ladybugs are about ¼ inch long. They have round bodies with black spots on bright orange to red wing covers. The number of spots varies with the species of ladybug.  The head and legs are black.

Ladybug larvae resemble miniature alligators. They are black with reddish markings, about ¼ inch long. A ladybug larvae can eat 40 aphids in an hour.

The lifecycle of a ladybug—from egg to adult—lasts 5 to 7 weeks. There are one to several generations of ladybugs per year depending on the species.

Ladybugs overwinter as adults in tree bark and garden litter.

Scientific name: Family Coccinellidae

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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