The ladybug is one of those insects that are nice to people.
Especially these creatures are liked by children. This insect is common in all countries of the world. It is very difficult to confuse the ladybug with other beetles due to its unusual coloring. But strangely enough, we do not know as much about it as it seems. In this article, we will get acquainted with this cute insect in more detail and learn what ladybugs eat.
The positive attitude of people to the ladybug is also reflected in the name given to the insect. Catholics call the insect ladybird or ladybug. In this case, the lady means the Virgin Mary. That is, the ladybug is, in their understanding, the insect of the Virgin Mary. In French, the name of this animal means “God’s hen”. In other countries, the name of the insect is no less poetic. In translation from many languages, it usually means some kind of animal that belongs to God.
According to folk beliefs, the ladybug descends from heaven and brings goodness with it. This insect has always been treated as a holy creature, killing which was considered a sin.
Perhaps it is the most famous representative of beetles, both for adults and children. Few people would not know what a ladybug looks like.
This ladybug has a rounded body. It is convex at the top and flat at the bottom. The most common ladybugs found in nature are red and yellow ladybugs with black spots on their backs. But these are not all species. In total, there are about four thousand of these ladybugs. Ladybug can also be black, blue, blue, and other colors.
Instead of dots on its back, it may have stripes and even drawings that resemble letters.
The ladybug needs a bright coloring to protect it from predators. If this insect gets into the spider’s web, it has a chance to be saved, because the enemy is trying to get rid of such a prisoner by breaking his own trap.
Ladybug has a pair of wings, with which it can fly. They are protected by a pair of elytra placed on top.
On the head, there is a pair of black tendrils. The ladybug has three pairs of long legs. The liquid is released from its folds with a smell when the insect feels threatened. The ladybug has the ability to pretend to be dead if something threatens it. It falls on its back and clenches its legs.
The ladybug can be found anywhere in the world, except Antarctica and permafrost areas. This insect prefers to settle on trees, meadow grass, or on plants growing near water bodies.
Like migratory birds, ladybugs gather in packs in spring and autumn and fly long distances. This is done to find food. When flying, the bugs fly quite high. It is impossible to see them with the naked eye. Strong wind may prevent them in this case. Because of its gusts, insects are forced to interrupt their flight, and if they are over the sea, it often leads to their death.
Many ladybugs spend the winter in the forest, hiding under the leaves or the stump bark until spring.
Reproduction of ladybugs
In spring or autumn, ladybugs lay yellow eggs on plant leaves. Their number varies from five to three hundred eggs. The larvae appear in a week. They have well-developed jaws. The larvae eat more food than adults. They have a dark green color that masks them against the background of leaves.
After two weeks, a pupa is formed from the larvae, and after the same period of time, a young ladybug appears. In the beginning, it has no patterns on its wings, and the color is still too pale. Over time, the ladybug gets a rich color and pattern. The whole process of development from an egg to a formed specimen takes four to seven weeks.
Having fulfilled its mission, the ladybug dies. The insect’s life cycle lasts just over a year. The new generation of ladybugs is soon preparing for wintering, after which it will breed its offspring and then also die.
Looking at this cute insect, many wonder what the ladybugs eat. Let’s find out more about it.
Food of ladybug
These cute looking beetles are actually predators. By this, they are very useful for gardeners. Why? This question is easily answered by learning more about what ladybugs eat. Their diet is based on garden pests.
Ladybugs help to preserve cultivated plants by eating pests. They especially like to eat aphids, which are known to destroy all plantings. The development of one ladybug larva requires about a thousand such insects. Adult beetle eats about two hundred aphids per day. This is a great help to people in saving the harvest from death. Other beetles that do not have shells are also used as food.
Many people have a question: what do ladybugs eat except animal food? Sometimes there are species of this insect, which are vegetarians and eat plants, namely mushrooms and leaves. Almost all of them live in Latin America and the south of East Asia.
In our country, there are only three species of ladybugs of this kind: tapeless coccinellid, alfalfa beetles, twenty octopus ladybugs. They are common in central, southern Russia, and the Far East, respectively. These species can cause damage to garden plants.
Larvae eat in the same way. From adults, they differ only in the amount of food eaten. Now we know what ladybugs eat in nature.
Now let’s find out what ladybugs eat at home. It often happens that winter comes unexpectedly earlier than usual. Ladybugs do not have time to prepare for this and hibernate. In this case, the insects do not have the opportunity to live until spring. Only a human can help them. And here comes the question: what to feed the ladybugs?
Insects are quite able to survive at home, and care for them does not require much work. That small list of necessary things to feed the ladybugs is found in every house. For this purpose, honey diluted in water, sugar-sweetened water, raisins, and leaves of vegetable plants is suitable.
Ladybugs should be placed in a cool place. One of the options is a window sill or a gap between the frames. Feed the beetles need a few days. Then they will hibernate until spring.
Now we know what ladybugs eat at home, and we can always help these cute and useful insects.
How to buy a ladybug
As you know, the main thing that ladybugs eat is aphids. Since this insect and its larvae are very useful for growing crops, many farmers would like to have them in their fields. Today, it is very easy to do. You can just buy them, create the right conditions for them, and breed them in your garden or field.
Eggs of these aphid exterminators can be purchased not only in garden centers but also simply on the Internet. The order will come by mail. It remains only to breed beetles.
One of the conditions is a complete rejection of toxic chemicals. Otherwise, the insects will not live in an unsuitable environment for them. Let them out into the garden at a cool time of day: morning or evening. If there is no dew, you should spray the plants with water. This is all you need to know about breeding ladybugs. These rules are quite simple, and the benefits of these insects are disproportionately high.