Ladybirds are great to have as buddies in your backyard. In many cultures they are considered so lucky that killing one will bring sadness and misfortune.
There are about 6000 species of ladybird in the world, with around 500 species in Australia. You might know ladybirds as ladybugs or ladybeetles, but whatever name you use they are the fantastic at keeping your garden healthy.
You might think of ladybirds as being red or orange with black spots, but they can be many different colours - some are all one colour, some are striped and some are even hairy!
Most ladybird species eat insects, aphids, mites, beetle larvae, pollen , sap and nectar. They have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult beetle. The adult beetle can fly long distances to find new food sources or mating partners.
Ladybirds are very common in gardens all around Australia. You may have seen them gathering together for a feast of aphids on your rose bushes, flying across your garden to check out your herbs or you may have even tried to get them to land on your hand for luck.
Ladybirds love to eat aphids, mites and scale insects that destroy a lot of common garden plants like roses, so they are great to have in your backyard.
Planting herbs like coriander, fennel and dill will help to attract ladybirds.
Ladybirds also like to live in well-watered gardens because they need to drink frequently. Some also enjoy the occasional treat of pollen or nectar.
It isn't just adult ladybirds that are helpful. Ladybird larvae also grow strong by eating aphids, mites and scale insects. They look quite different to adult ladybirds, so keep an eye on any clumps of eggs or larvae you find near groups of ladybirds; you might see them grow up into beautiful ladybirds too.
Be a Backyard Buddy
Some ladybirds are the brightly coloured and spotty types you might have seen in children's books or cartoons, but there are many different types of ladybirds.
If you think you have found a ladybird in your garden, you can identify it at the CSIRO's Ladybirds of Australia website.
But they don't like:
Be a Buddy to Ladybirds
Don't be surprised if Ladybirds:
A few more Ladybirds facts
Let ladybirds control your garden pests. Ladybirds, also known as ladybeetles and ladybugs, are natural controllers of aphids, scale insects and mites which otherwise damage plants. You can be sure that if your garden has regular ladybird visitors it will receive a helping hand keeping healt..