Technically, ladybugs are not bugs at all. They’re a kind of beetle. The origin of their name is actually quite interesting, as well. The “lady” in ladybug supposedly refers to the Virgin Mary. According to a popular legend, crops in Europe in the middle ages were plagued by pests, which led the farmers to pray to the Virgin Mary for a miracle. Soon after, the farmers saw ladybugs appearing in their fields. The ladybugs ate all of the harmful pests and the crops were saved. To this day, gardeners and farmers love ladybugs because they eat aphids, whiteflies, mites, and many other pests that are harmful to our food supply.
Ladybugs are an insect predator’s worst nightmare. They will bleed from their knees when they feel threatened, emitting a foul-smelling, toxic fluid that leaves yellow stains on whatever surface it touches. Even their coloring is a warning sign to predators, their bright orange-red bodies and black spots send a signal warning other insects of the ladybug’s toxicity.