“Insects, worms and other small animals that carry out vital functions for life on earth have declined by 45 per cent on average over 35 years, threatening human health, water quality and food supplies…”
-Steve Connor, “Vital invertebrates decline by 45 per cent, study finds,” independent.co.uk, July 2014.
Ladybird, more commonly known as lady beetle or lady bug, are one of the most well known insects around the world, with over 500 species 300 of them being native to North America. Many farmers rely on ladybug populations to maintain pest control of their crops.
One insect that causes major damage are the aphids, but the ladybugs keep hem in check by eating them and laying their eggs in aphid colonies so when they hatch the larvae feed on the aphids as soon as they hatch. A healthy ladybug population can keep insect pests low and reduce the need for insecticides. Ladybugs are beneficial to farmers because they eliminate these pests in an inexpensive and safe way.
Not only are ladybugs important in controlling pests in gardens and crops, they are also valuable predators that eat insects that destroy forests. Many ladybugs are adapted to living in trees and feed on harmful treedwelling insects. Ladybug larvae are often found eating twig aphids. Many tree farmers release ladybugs in the spring in their tree fields to help control twig aphids.
Ladybugs are beneficial to our environment, but they can also become a nuisance in the fall. They may swarm around your house, windows, doors and porches and they may even come inside looking for a safe place to hibernate during the winter months. By making shelter for the lady bugs, we are providing protection during the warmer months and a place to hibernate in the cooler months.