Nature

Myths and Facts About Ladybugs that Might Surprise You

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There are 5,000 species of ladybugs found in the world, some of which can be seen in Texas. They’re counted among the most popular of insects, due largely to their polka-dot exterior. However, there are a lot of misconceptions around these beautiful little creatures, some of which are clarified in the video below.

Shared on Emily Johnson’s YouTube channel, “The Life Cycle of a Ladybug” video is just over two minutes in length and covers the seven spotted ladybug (so-named for the pattern on their wings). Despite what people think, the number of spots on one of these creatures does not determine its age. Also, ladybugs are not considered a member of the beetle family. The details within the video were compiled for a second-grade classroom, which makes it perfect for use by primary grade school teachers, as well as for parents of young children at home.

Video: YouTube/Emily Johnson

Ladybugs make their homes in fields, trees, and gardens, where insect populations are known to be high. Since their food source is that of soft-bodied insects, this is a prime place for them to set up shop. A ladybug can consume up to 50 insects per day, which also helps to protect plant life. One myth which requires busting is that ladybugs are poisonous. This is not the case. To some animals they may have a toxic effect, including a foul odor (to protect them from their predators), however, they are not harmful to those of the two-legged variety. Another such myth is the common misconception that they consume fabric or eat plants and items of a household variety. Instead, rest assured they only consume the soft-bodied insects which are known to take the juices out of plants. Subsequently, they’re a very valued member of the food chain.

Do you know where their name came from? It originated in Europe in the Middle Ages. Catholic farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary when insects were destroying their crops. When ladybugs appeared on the scene to eat the pests that were destroying the plants, the farmers began calling them “The Beetles of Our Lady,” which eventually was shorted to “Lady Beetles,” and then the common term we know today.