What Do Ladybugs Eat?

Category: Insects.

Now, nobody really believes that ladybugs bake, but they do eat, and they are able to put away a huge meal at one sitting. And ladybugs, far from being a pest, are welcomed by gardeners and farmers alike, because they work to rid the soil of damaging aphids.

Ladybird larva consuming an aphid. © Sanjay Acharya.

About ladybugs

The ladybug (also known as ladybird or lady beetle) is a beetle from the Coccinellidae family. They are an insect that is well-known as an ecological help. Their usual diet is aphids (watch on YouTube), scale insects, mites, mealybugs and thrips. There is even a ladybug that eats fungus. So far, the diet doesn’t sound too palatable, but the ladybugs thrive on it. At the same time, they are saving gardens and farms from these nasty, destructive, aphids and other pests.

Ladybugs have huge appetite

The ladybug has a huge appetite and is said to be able to wolf down as many as 5,000 aphids in a lifetime. Think how desirable that must sound to a farmer or garden enthusiast! Some ladybugs actually eat mushrooms or other fungi, which gives them a little bit more variety in their daily food intake.

Two different sized 7 spotted ladybugs eating mealybugs and aphids on a broad bean leaf. © Zeynel Cebeci.

Ladybugs eat garden pests

There are ladybugs who also feed on plants and the small green insects that eat the juice of the plants. They scurry and scramble through the gardens gobbling away at the nasty pests that are trying to invade the area. Their job, apparently, is to keep the ecological balance that nature desires and has put in place.

Now the ladybug is not completely perfect

It can nibble on leaves that make things difficult for the farmer or gardener. But that is not the usual road the ladybug goes down. It is happy simply to go about its business of finding aphids and other tasty morsels and savoring them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Bad ladybugs

The Mexican bean beetle is not looked upon favorably because of the way they destroy the plants they are named after. They can cause extensive damage by eating these crops.

Ladybugs are generally useful

The ladybug is also known by the names of ladybird and lady beetle, depending on which part of the world you are focusing on. But, whatever they’re called, they are generally of great help in devouring insects that otherwise would run wild and destroy many crops each year. So, in the long run, we look upon them kindly for the amazing work they do in saving gardens and farm crops from a disaster.

More on beetle’s family

  1. Beetle’s diet
  2. Firefly’s diet

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