Ladybirds are small, colourful insects, often seen in summer and spring as they fly around and crawl around on your plants.
If your children love nature and playing outside, they are sure to have spotted a ladybird or two. Here are some of our favourite fun ladybird facts for kids, that they are bound to love!
Our Top Ladybird Facts
1. Ladybirds are really interesting insects, but they are actually considered beetles, not bugs! Farmers love them because they eat even smaller bugs called aphids on plants which helps the farmers as their crops stay healthy.
2. For this reason, many cultures consider ladybirds good luck and so you should never kill a ladybird.
3. They live for around one year, but some ladybirds live up to 3.
4. There are around 5,000 different species of ladybirds. They can be red, yellow, brown and even black.
5. Ladybirds are not poisonous to humans, but some people can be allergic to them, so keep an eye out for their black spots.
6. Ladybirds can have some harmful effects for pets if eaten but it's not deadly.
7. If they are threatened, ladybird legs produce a horrible-tasting juice so predators don't try to eat them - so keep your dog away from ladybirds!
8. In some cultures, it's considered unlucky to kill ladybirds.
9. Adult ladybirds can eat up to 50 aphids a day. That's why you might see a ladybug sitting on a leaf, it's probably looking for some aphids or already eating one!
10. Aphids are small bugs that nibble on plants, sucking the sap out of them. Farmers don't like when bugs suck the sap out of their crops this as it ruins their plants.
11. Ladybirds can eat up to 5,000 bugs in their lifetime!
12. Ladybirds have a colourful shell that protects their wings. This helps them to fly really fast to find their favourite food aphids. The ladybug shell also wards away predators.
13. The spots on a ladybird shell warn predators to stay away. It reminds the predator of the horrible-tasting juice that ladybirds' legs produce.
14. Ladybirds can have black spots or red spots and if you look closely you could find up to 20 on a shell. The amount of spots depend on the type of ladybird.
15. One thing is for certain though, a ladybug always has six legs. That's what makes it an insect.
16. Ladybirds play dead to defend themselves. These clever insects hide their legs under their shell and stop moving. By doing this, predators don't even notice these small beetles.
17. Ladybirds also huddle together when in danger and this makes the horrible juice on their legs even smellier.
18. These tiny red beetles live in grasslands, forests, cities, suburbs and along rivers. Kids might even find them in the garden!
19. In autumn and winter, ladybirds like to huddle together to hibernate, often in their thousands in a colony.
20. The ladybird species hibernate in cracks, crevices and leaf litter. They come back out in Spring to find a mate. Then they lay lots of eggs on a leaf, (so kids should be on the look out to spot ladybird leaves!).
21. The ladybird is native to Europe, and was brought to North America to help the farmers.
22. The ladybird will eat the aphid plant-sucking bugs so the crops can grow to be healthy. Now ladybirds are all over Europe and America, flying around and helping our farmers.
23. See if the kids can pronounce the scientific name for the ladybird species, Coccinellidae septempunctata. We're still struggling with that one!
24. The scientific name for the red ladybird has its origins in the Latin word coccineus meaning ‘scarlet’.
25. The origins of their name goes all the way back to European farmers, who would pray to the Virgin Mary to help stop their crops from being destroyed by pests. This is why they are considered good luck.
Extra Learning Activities
You can put these facts for kids to the test next time you're in your garden with these fun educational ideas:
-Ask a family member to help you find a ladybird and note down where it is.
-Count how many spots you can see on its shell. With this, you can create a fact-file about the bugs and other beetles in your garden.
-Write down your top 5 favourite facts you learnt today!
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