In this month's pest profile, we're looking at ladybugs. These little hard-shelled creatures, best known for their red bodies and black spots, are harmless to humans and helpful to gardeners.
But did you know ladybugs aren't actually bugs? That’s right - they're beetles. In fact, in some regions, they're even called lady beetles or ladybird beetles.
Legend has it that the "lady" in the name ladybug dates back to the Middle Ages. Stories say aphids were damaging farmers' crops. After the farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help, the ladybugs arrived and ate all the aphids. From then on, farmers referred to the insects as "Our Lady's beetles."
There are about 5,000 different species of ladybugs in the world and about 450 in the United States. In addition to being red with black spots, some ladybugs are yellow, orange, brown, pink, or black. Some ladybugs don't have spots at all, and some have spots that look more like stripes. The spots on ladybugs serve a bigger purpose and aren't just for looks alone. They are meant to warn attackers. When ladybugs are startled, they'll emit a foul-smelling blood from their joints. This yellow liquid is toxic to several predators like birds and small mammals. When all else fails, ladybugs will even play dead until a predator is gone.
Similar to butterflies, ladybugs go through four stages before they reach their adult form. Baby ladybugs don't look like their adult counterparts at all. Their long, spiny larvae actually look like little alligators. In their final phase, ladybugs become adults and their wings appear. These wings stay hidden most of the time under their outer shell since they're significantly larger than their entire body. Once they reach their adult form, a ladybug's life span is only about a year long.
At Pestech of Greenville, we're familiar with all types of pests. We've seen it all as we have been a trusted pest control and extermination company in eastern North Carolina for more than two decades. In the past, we’ve shared 50 Fascinating Facts about Pests and 50 More Fascinating Facts about Pests. In this blog, we’re sharing even more peculiar and intriguing facts we've learned about pests over the years.
Here are 50 additional fascinating facts about pests:
Pestech of Greenville is teaming up with the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to warn travelers of the threat of bed bug infestations during Bed Bug Awareness Week, happening from June 5-11, 2022.
With 80% of Americans planning to travel this summer and 42% planning to travel more than they did last summer, we're educating travelers on how to prevent bed bugs.
Meat lovers, beware! A mysterious meat allergy is spreading across parts of the United States. In this month's pest profile, we're taking a look at the pest responsible; the lone star tick.
Despite its name, the lone star tick is found mainly in the southeastern part of the U.S. and attacks more frequently than any other tick species in that area. It gets its name from the single silvery-white spot on the female's back.
Did you know termites cause over $5 billion worth of damage to homes and properties each year?
Unfortunately for us, termites love the climate here in North Carolina. That's why it's so important to know the warning signs of termite damage so you can prevent an infestation. Plus, with Pestech of Greenville as your premier pest management resource, we can help eliminate the risk before it gets out of hand.
In North Carolina, the most common types of termites we see are Eastern Subterranean Termites. They are usually a cream translucent color, have six legs, and are only ⅛ of an inch long. While they can be found year-round, these termites are most common in the spring and summer.