Nature

Those Orange Ladybugs You See Are Actually Helpful Asian Beetles

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If you look closely at the next ladybug you see, and it has an orange body with black spots and a “W” marking on its head, it is probably a non-native Asian beetle. KLTV recently reported on the insects since their population in booming, especially in East Texas right now.

Karen Rispin, a biologist at LeTourneau University, told the news that these beetles were brought to the United States decades ago to take care of our aphid problem. And the lady beetles are doing their job well! In fact, “they may be out-competing indigenous ladybugs.”

These hardy insects can live for three years taking time to hibernate in the winter. Some people worry about the possibility of ladybugs biting. According to Michigan State University, “The bite of the Multicolored Asian Ladybeetle is more like a pinch and no blood meal is taken. The bite can be painful and very annoying if many of the beetles are present.” So unless you’re somehow being swarmed by angry ladybugs, there’s no need to worry about them.

Of course, these aren’t the only ladybugs that live in Texas. Click on this link to see a long annotated list of lady beetles living in the Lone Star State.