Q:

What is the significance or superstition surrounding ladybugs?

A:

Quick Answer

In the United States, the ladybug is believed to grant wishes. In Ireland, it is believed that having a ladybug land on someone is a symbol of protection for them.

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Full Answer

Superstitions surrounding ladybugs vary from culture to culture, but most are positive. Some Asian cultures believe that a ladybug caught and released flies off to one's true love and whispers them his name. In early Catholic cultures, the seven spots on a ladybug were said to represent the seven virtues of the Virgin Mary, which is how the ladybug got its name.

People's good relations with ladybugs stems from the bug's harmlessness, visual appeal and utility. Not only do people consider ladybugs to be good luck, but farmers actually encourage them to land on their crops to kill and eat the many aphids that can infest and destroy them. As a matter of fact, a single ladybugs can eat up to 5,000 aphids in its lifetime. Children are often told never to kill a ladybug because the good that these insects can do outweighs the harm.

Ladybugs are thought to bring about a number of lucky things when they land on a person, such as love, good weather, financial success or the granting of wishes.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where do ladybugs live?

    A:

    Adult ladybugs and larvae can be found living in gardens, agricultural fields, wooded areas and on plants that are frequented by aphids, which are a primary source of food for many species. The beetles hibernate during winter months in clusters normally found under rocks, debris and leaf litter, but may also aggregate in homes if they can get in through cracks or crevices. They may begin to appear indoors in the autumn months when they leave their summer feeding areas in search of an insulated place to hibernate.

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  • Q:

    Do ladybugs bite?

    A:

    Most species of ladybug are not aggressive towards humans and therefore do not bite. All ladybugs have mouth parts that can be used for biting, but they are generally used for consuming small pest insects, such as the aphids which make up a majority of their diet. The one exception is the Asian ladybug, a swarming species that is more aggressive than the others.

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  • Q:

    What is a group of ladybugs called?

    A:

    A group of ladybugs is called a "loveliness of ladybugs." Gardeners enjoy seeing a loveliness of ladybugs in their gardens because one ladybug can eat up to 5,000 aphids, common garden pests, in a year.

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  • Q:

    Are ladybugs poisonous?

    A:

    Ladybugs are not poisonous, but they secrete a foul-tasting liquid when threatened by predators. This fluid is secreted from their joints. A threatened ladybug can also play dead to protect itself from a predator.

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