Ladybugs are natural predators to aphids, mealybugs, , thrips, and many other soft-bodied insects.
Their favorite food is aphids, but they also eat small spiders, mealy bugs, and other insects and mites they can attack and subdue.
Ladybugs eat the eggs of the Colorado Potato Beetle and European Corn Borer, which are big agricultural pests.
- Ladybugs generally choose to eat aphids and other plant-eating bugs.
- Most types of ladybugs are omnivorous, meaning they will also feed on other soft-bodied insects like mealybugs, as well as plants, pollen, and fungi.
- Some ladybugs are herbivores, which means they only eat plant matter and fungi.
- Ladybugs drink water, nectar, and honeydew.
- soft bodied bugs/insects
- Insect eggs
- spider mites
- Fruit flies
- many other soft-bodied insects.
Adult ladybugs eat all day long, are less active at night, and can consume up to 5,000 aphids in their lifetime! The lifespan of a ladybug is 1-2 years.
Mother ladybugs lay their eggs next to aphids, so when the larvae hatch, they are essentially hatched inside a full-service restaurant. The aphids are right there, and the larvae can begin feeding right away and do they ever. They consume large amounts of aphids over the next few weeks before entering the pupal stage and then the adult stage. Ladybug larvae can consume 300-400 aphids over a 2-3 week period!
Ladybugs drink nectar and water. They also feed on aphid honeydew, which is a sweet liquid that some insects produce after they eat plants. The nectar and honeydew provide the ladybugs with essential nutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Additionally, these fluids help keep their bodies hydrated in dry climates. In addition to drinking liquids from plants and other insects, ladybugs will sometimes seek out small pools of standing water for extra hydration if needed.
During periods where food is in short supply, a ladybug will venture back to the eggs and consume the eggs and larvae. A ladybug will even prepare for a food shortage by laying infertile eggs for her young to eat once they hatch.