With about 5,000 species in a variety of colors and markings, ladybugs are a garden favorite. And not just because they’re cartoon cute, but also because they eat the bad guys –– like aphids and other plant-eating insects. Just how do they work? Ladybugs lay hundreds of eggs among the plant-eating pests, and when those eggs hatch, the ladybug larvae feast. Over the course of a ladybug’s life, it can eat up to 5,000 insects.
Spotted or solid, colorful and curious, ladybugs are small, roundish-oval in shape, with short legs and antennae. Strategic markings –– spots and bright coloring –– warn predators to stay away. But to humans, ladybugs aren’t just cute and clever, they’re considered lucky as well. And when one lands on you, you’re supposed to make a wish — and some say, count the number of spots on them and that’s the number of months you’ll have good luck. We’ll take that — and a garden full of ladybugs too.