Children have long-favoured ladybugs as an insect of approval. One of the best-known nursery rhymes is the one that begins “Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home…”, and folklore is full of ladybug tales: If a ladybug lands on you it’s good luck! If you find a ladybug in your house, count the number of spots – that’s how many dollars you’ll soon receive! Such is the light-hearted nature of humankind’s appreciation for these wee members of the beetle family.
Adult ladybugs usually overwinter under leaves, tree fragments, or within a building’s outer walls, and are often among the first insects to appear in the spring, when they move to tree canopies, crop fields and gardens. They are a useful insect to have around, as they are natural predators of aphids and other pests that damage plants by feeding on their sap. In fact, during the Middle Ages, ladybugs were used to control aphid infestations in the vineyards.
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