Ladybug Facts and Fantasies
Ladybugs are not only cute—they are useful! During the spring and summer, they feed on aphids and some scale insects and are extremely beneficial for both agricultural and horticultural crops. During its lifetime a single ladybug may consume as many as 5,000 aphids. Ladybugs may be red, white, yellow, pink, orange or black. There are 450 species in the U.S. and 5,000 worldwide.
Adult females lay their eggs in the vicinity of aphid colonies. The larvae that hatch from the eggs are spiny and black with bright spots. Although they look dangerous, the larvae are quite harmless to humans. And the larvae also eat aphids--even more than the adults. After two to four weeks the larva attaches itself to a leaf, its skin splits and the pupa emerges. The pupa then metamorphosis into the adult ladybug.
In many cultures the ladybug has been believed to bring good luck.
In Englanda ladybug signifies a good harvest. In France, it means good weather is coming. In Sweden, if a ladybug lands on a girl's hand, it's said to be taking measurements for her wedding gloves.
Another popular belief is that if ladybug lands on you, you can make a wish and chant:
"Ladybird, ladybird fly away home.
Your house is on fire and your children all roam."
If the ladybug flies away, your wish will come true.