Ladybug Pest Control

Ladybug Facts and Identification

Size: Varies based on specific species, but most ladybugs measure between 1 and 10 millimeters.

Color: Ladybugs are famous for the vibrant red or orange color of their wing sheaths. Different species of ladybug could be red, orange, tan, or even yellow.

A closeup of a red ladybug on a white background.

Ladybug Control and Prevention

To perform first-step ladybug control, find areas where ladybugs congregate and clean the site with soapy water or bleach to wash away the pheromone scent. Vacuuming up swarms of ladybugs to remove them and throw the bag away when you’re finished.

Ladybugs enter buildings through small cracks and crevices. Inspect your building for vulnerabilities around the baseboard, frames, utility lines, foundation, and vents. Seal up any cracks and crevices you find with caulk.

Ladybug Facts and Identification

Diet and Behavior

Ladybugs are carnivorous and primarily prey on aphids. Some species also feed on scale insects, mealybugs, spider mites, and other small or developing pests. Ladybugs are considered beneficial insects because they hunt crop-destroying pests.

To find aphids, ladybugs typically spend most of their time flying around the plant life aphids prey on. Ladybugs are also very temperature-sensitive, so when they aren’t hunting, they seek out sun-reflecting, warm surfaces where they can congregate.

Reproduction and Ladybug Life Cycle

Ladybugs reproduce sexually. During mating season, ladybugs secrete pheromones to attract partners. After fertilization, female ladybugs may wait several months before laying eggs. A single female ladybug can lay hundreds of eggs at once.

Ladybugs go through four life cycle stages: egg, larvae, pupae, and adult. A single female ladybug can lay hundreds of eggs at once. Ladybugs grow faster in warm environments where food is abundant. After reaching adulthood, most ladybugs naturally live for about one more year.

The life cycle of a ladybug, from egg to adult.

More Information

National Geographic Ladybug profile

Cornell University Insect Diagnostic Laboratory Lady Beetles fact sheet

Integrated Taxonomic Information System Ladybug entry

Ladybug FAQ

Are ladybugs harmless?

Ladybugs are primarily a nuisance pest. They do produce a mild toxin that is harmless unless ingested. They can release an unpleasant odor when threatened and may stink when they die.

How many spots do ladybugs have?

Most ladybugs have black dots on their wing sheaths. The number, size, and arrangement of dots varies from species to species--there are two-spotted, seven-spotted, and nine-spotted species.

Is a ladybug a beetle?

Despite their name, ladybugs are considered beetles. They have all the defining characteristics of all species in the beetle family, including the elytra wing covers.

Are ladybugs attracted to light?

Yes. They favor light and light colors. Ladybugs seek out warm areas.

Where do ladybugs lay eggs?

Ladybugs lay their bright yellow eggs on the undersides of leaves where they are protected from weather and predators. Often, they favor an area with aphids so the hatchlings will have a food source.

What do ladybugs eat?

Primarily aphids. An adult ladybug may eat upwards of 50 aphids a day, endearing themselves to farmers and gardeners alike. Ladybugs will also eat other soft insects and mites.

How long do ladybugs live?

About one year.

Do ladybugs bite?

It’s rare but possible that a ladybug would bite you in self-defense. They carry no diseases and unless you’re allergic a bite will feel like a small pinch at worst.

How to get rid of ladybugs?

Keep cracks and holes along your home or business sealed. Vacuum them up. If you need assistance removing ladybugs or diagnosing where they came in, call the pest control experts at Assured Environments.