Ladybirds are very common beetles. In North America, the same beetles are known as Ladybugs. Most Ladybirds are predators. They eat other small insects such as aphids, mealy bugs and scale insects, which are serious pest of plants. That’s why the Ladybird can be the “GARDENER’S BEST FRIEND”.
In Europe, during the middle ages (long before the invention of chemical sprays that kill the pests), harmful insects were destroying the crops, so the Catholic farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Shortly the Ladybirds came to rescue and ate the plant-destroying insects and saved the crops. The European farmers gave thanks to Our Lady (the Virgin Mary) and named the beetle after her. The red wings symbolized the Virgin's cloak and the black spots symbolized her joys and sorrows. They didn't make a distinction between males and females.
Other interesting facts:
- There are hundreds of different kinds of ladybirds all over the world. They come in all different colors, too (red, orange, yellow, gray, brown, black and even pink).
- The spots on Ladybirds fade as they get older.
- Not all Ladybirds have spots.
- A Ladybird can lay up to 1000 eggs in its lifetime.
- Ladybirds will clean themselves after a meal.
- Many countries believe a Ladybird to be a sign of good luck.
Read more about Ladybirds at ladybuglady.com