Help settle an argument. Do (domestic, U.S.) lady bugs ‘bite’ (bite, pinch, sting, whatever)? I’m talking aboutthese guys.
I’m in a huge ongoing disagreement with a close friend. She claims to have been bitten - hard. My father was a farmer and I’ve handled thousands of them with not so much as a nibble. Google reference is all over the place. Some site say yes, some no, some maybe, some say they could - but don’t and so on. Very frustrating! There must be a factual answer to this…
Do ladybugs bite?
Native ladybugs don’t bite, but Asian ladybugs do. According to this Asian ladybugs have spread across much of the US since they first took root here in 1988.
from what i’ve heard, including statements by bugologists, the native USA ones don’t and the Asian ones do sometimes (though that is just a taste that isn’t repeated).
i expect that these could be a lot of misinformation because they are hard to tell apart by the unskilled person.
I never thought they could until now, just because I’ve handled many over the years.
But I have the same experience with ants and yet I do believe some bite, so I’m always willing to let my experience be swamped by the impersonal data of others.
Sorta. Scroll down the page about halfway.
They have mandibles so they can bite. But afaik, only the asian ones have a bite that can be felt through human skin. Even so, it’s not painful and I could barely feel it on my hands. I suppose if they bit somewhere more tender…:eek:
Is your friend by chance an aphid?
Yikes, I never got quite that personal with them.
I spent a good portion of my childhood attempting to befriend various bugs, and while I don’t recall ever being bitten by a native US ladybug, I remember getting bitten on more than one occasion by what I thought at the time were green ones, except those may have actually been cucumber beetles.
Also, some ants do bite.
Ditto some grasshoppers.
As already answered above, the domestic North American ladybugs don’t, but the introduced Asian ladybugs do. I would call it a pinch rather than a bite. It annoys rather than hurts, but it also causes me to reflexively brush the offending insect away. Unfortunately this frequently leaves an orange stain (also covered in the link above).
Asian - usually more orange than red, and the head is mostly white, with a black M shape
US - usually more red than orange and predominantly black head.
Of the ladybugs I now notice, they are mostly the Asian varieties. (Southern Ontario)
US ladybugs only live one season, and this year’s eggs grow new ones in the spring. Asian ladybugs live for two or more years, so they seek to come inside to sleep for the winter in your house. If you happen to live where there are lots of them, and your house has holes for them to enter, you could find yourself with hundreds, even thousands, in your house.
As the OSU link above says, they’ll stain and smell bad if you squish them. It’s better to round them up with a vacuum cleaner. Don’t just put the machine back in the closet, though. The bugs will crawl right back out. In a heavily infested area, you’ll have a new crowd of them every day for as much as a week. Once inside the house, they’ll seek little hidey-holes to sleep in. The ones that make it will come out again in the spring and attempt to leave. Will they remember how they got in? Maybe.
I don’t know if they eat dust mites while they’re in your house. That would be nice, wouldn’t it?
I have never had more than a couple dozen. I know folks fifteen miles away who had a major invasion. Chanting, “Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home,” does not work one little bit.
They don’t taste too good either.*
*I ate one when I was about a year old… I remember it, vividly. :smack:
Asian ladybugs are a major problem in my rural neighborhood. Our house is infested from October through April or May every year. They do pinch, but that’s the least of it. The worst is the stench when hundreds or thousands of them are in your house–or inside your vacuum cleaner. They are attracted to light and to anything that is near light or gives off light, and swatting them is not advised.
Our house is greater than 100 years old, with steel siding over the original clapboards, and there just is not any way to seal them out. They ooze out of the baseboards, around window frames, and through the electrical system all winter long. This year, we’ll be trying to seal them into the walls, where they will eventually become some form of insulation :D.
As far as I know, there are no predators here, although I’m thinking of trying some guineas or ducks. Some people build small fires scattered around their lawns during the influx, but I’m not sure how effective that is. We have been actively trying to find something that they find noxious (but that isn’t toxic), but no luck so far.
i think all the ladybugs (Asian, domestic, European) are only aphid eaters.
i think guineas are one of the few predators.