Ladybugs, Lady Beetles and Ladybirds
Who knew that Rodney Dangerfield would appear in a blog about “ladybugs”? Well, to be honest, I am not shocked. It seems that you can Google just about any topic imaginable and find some pop culture reference. Any fun little tidbit when blogging about lawn pests and problems is always a good thing for me! Before you go downloading the movie, let’s just explore a little about “Ladybugs”. It might save you time and money…
If you just can’t help yourself
The link to the “Ladybugs” trailer can be found here. One critic from Rotten Tomatoes had these words to say about the 1992 release, “Ladybugs is the “Bad News Bears” cloned for girls soccer with sometimes funny Dangerfield bits. Though Tommy Lasorda had a cameo, it is hard to find much good to say about this movie. The best part of Googling “Ladybugs” was the Rodney Dangerfield rabbit hole it lead me down. As cheesy as the comedian was, it’s hard not to chuckle at some of his terrible jokes.
Why are they called Ladybugs?
Ladybugs were first known as Ladybirds in the United Kingdom and had religious connotations. The red shell was connected to the red cloak of Mary and the spots were symbolic of the seven joys and seven sorrows of Mary. In the US, ladybirds became “ladybugs”. Ladybugs are generally considered to be helpful insects. While there are many species of ladybugs or ladybeetles, most of them are useful because they prey on aphids.
Remind me again, what is an aphid?
Aphids are true pests. They suck the life right out of our plants, trees, crops. Most recently on this blog, we learned about Crape Myrtle Bark Scale, an aphid that covers the beautiful Crape Myrtles. When ladybugs or lady beetles are found on a crape myrtle, they typically have laid hundreds of eggs right in middle of the aphids. As soon as the eggs hatch they start feasting on the aphids. Ladybugs can rescue a crape myrtle and even a crop from aphids when the timing is right!
Nature is amazing when caught on camera.
Have you ever witnessed the life cycle of a ladybug? This video is incredible. As always, one thing leads to another so you may as well watch this video of a ladybug folding up their wings. It is really mind-blowing to see how insects are made to protect themselves from predators. And speaking of protecting themselves…
Ladybugs can’t be all good, can they?
You knew this part was coming. If they were all good they wouldn’t have made it to the Lawn and Pest Solutions blog. As cute as ladybugs are depicted in art, children’s books and even bad comedies from the 90’s, they do have a few unappealing characteristics. In order to protect themselves from predators, ladybugs secrete a fluid from the joints in their legs. Some even reference it as “bleeding” from their joints. Whatever you want to call it, it tastes really bad to a predator. Yes, it also smells really bad. When the ladybugs die and their shells crumble, some people are allergic to the dust. Lastly, when an infestation of ladybugs occurs, some experience staining on walls from the secreted fluid.
They aren’t so cute now, huh?
Ladybugs aren’t the worst invasion of pests you can experience. They are rarely harmful to humans (unless you are allergic to the dust of their dead bodies) and if they bite you, it’s a tiny bite that couldn’t hurt much. They might stain your walls and leave a foul smell in the air, and that’s something you might not ever suspect until now!
What can you do about ladybugs?
The most important thing you, as a homeowner can do is to keep ladybugs out of your home before they ever sneak in. Make sure your window and door screens are not damaged. Make sure pests can’t crawl under your doors or through cracks in the walls. This is the time that ladybugs are starting to look inside for a warm place for the winter. If you do find them inside, it’s best to vacuum them up and safely throw them away. There are sprays available for the exterior of your home to try and keep them from entering. Lawn and Pest can help you with these treatments, but sealing your home from the outside is crucial to keeping more than just ladybugs out. As we always say, this is a team effort!
Contact Lawn and Pest Solutions for help in keeping your home free of pests for the winter. Now is the time to check out what is happening outside your home. Our website has a user friendly app to leave your messages with our office. Leave us a message and let us show you the “Lawn and Pest Solutions Difference.”