Would you destroy this bug?

Were you to find this on one of your vegetable or ornamental plants would you know what it is? Would you squish it or, even worse, spray it with an insecticide under the belief that all bugs are bad?

Ladybug pupa

You’d be making a mistake.

This is not a bug. It’s a ladybug pupa.

It’s really wise to know a bit about supposed enemies before going on a seek and destroy mission. Destroying this pupa would kill a future insect-eating machine.

Ladybugs, also known as ladybug beetles or ladybird beetles, go about their lives feasting on aphids, mealybugs, scale, fly larva and insect eggs. Isn’t this a creature you want in your gardens?

Watch this video to witness the stages of a ladybug’s life. Warning: it contains ladybug sex!

 

Uploaded by theladybugclub on May 13, 2008

 

Unfortunately, many of the common orange and black ladybugs are not native to our region. While beneficial to gardeners, farmers and fruit and nut growers, these Asian ladybug beetles (Harmonia axyridis) may be displacing native ladybugs. It’s also possible that native ladybugs are declining or moving to different areas for other reasons. The Lost Ladybug Project is trying to gather information to learn more about introduced and native ladybug populations.  It’s a citizen scientist project, anyone can participate by gathering and reporting information on ladybug sightings.

Asian ladybug beetles can become pesky during the autumn. They are attracted to light-colored buildings and swarm on and around them looking for cold-weather shelter. Read more from the University of Connecticut Integrated Pest Management on Asian ladybug beetles in Connecticut and how to deal with them if they become pesky.

I was happy to find this and other ladybug pupa resting on my pepper and basil leaves. I found even more on the nasturtium that were, earlier, covered in black aphids. Now that ladybugs have moved in, I can rest assured that the remaining aphid population will be well controlled.

Knowledge is power … garden thoughtfully.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Joene Hendry

7 comments for “Would you destroy this bug?

  1. August 9, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Good to know! The link to the Lost Ladybug project was particularly informative and helpful. I knew ladybugs were beneficial, but not all this info about the types and stages.

    • August 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      Laurrie, I thought so, too. There are so many more types of ladybugs than I previously realized.

  2. August 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Joene, Great post. I can remember, not that long ago in fact, when I just assumed most insects looked the same throughout the various stages of their lives – just smaller or larger! What an insight to learn that some of the insects I’d assumed were ‘bag’ were actually future ‘good guys’. Posts like this that show various stages of an insect’s life are so helpful,

    • August 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      Thanks, Debbie. Immature ladybugs look like plant menaces but, actually, they are quite beneficial. It’s better to positively identify an insect before taking any action.

  3. August 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    No I would no kill this creature.

    Have a great day,
    John

  4. August 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Great post Joene. I have been noticing empty “shells” attached to misc leaves in my yard and was wondering if they were from the ladybug. After seing this video, I believe they are!

    • August 21, 2012 at 7:43 am

      Thanks, Diane. Glad I could help solve your mystery.

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