Looking for a Home

Looking for a Home - Ellie Kennard 2016
Looking for a Home – Ellie Kennard 2016

Ladybirds, ladybugs or ladybird beetles* are usually associated with the outdoors, climbing up plants and flowers in their bright hard shiny shells of red and black. This little one will not be staying there for long as the weather was becoming too cold and had crisped the leaves of this plant, one of the signs that it was time to seek shelter before winter arrived.

Here in Canada, these insects cannot survive in the months of winter cold and so they all search for a warm place where they can stay safe and wait for the spring. Somehow, despite the screens on our windows, they manage to get into our house where they choose to lodge in the top corners of our cupboards and bedroom walls and ceilings, where they congregate in big heaps. I don’t mind seeing them there as they always remind me that if they can be patient just sitting there waiting for the winter to pass, then so should I.

As the days start to lengthen and the warm sun streams through windows, they begin to wake up and start to stretch their little legs and wings, preparing to start their new cycles, raising their young in the great outdoors. While it’s still too cold outside, the ones in our house take their daily (and nightly) exercise in our bedroom, landing on lampshades and even on our faces at odd times in the night. I was shocked when I realized that they have a little nip to them when they are upset (when you accidentally brush them off your face too roughly when you are woken up by them!) I like them much better when they are outside, like this one.

View the whole “Tiny Wildlife” gallery here: “Tiny Wildlife”

 

* Ladybirds (UK), ladybugs (US): From Wikipedia “Entomologists in the United States widely prefer the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles as these insects are not true bugs.”
 

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44 Responses

  1. Here in the States, on my farm, we had Ladybug/bird imposters…stinky imposters. Not only would they nip you a bit (can’t blame them) but they would leave a stink. These not-at-all-ladylike-creatures came from Japan (I’m told) and make it hard for the little one’s they impersonate because they gave the real, rounder, much cuter ladybugs a bad name. I’ve always loved the real ladybugs … and if one made it way into my home I would carefully carry it back outside. I never did see one in Winter. But the stinky variety… hummmm…I don’t wish them ill, but it’s one thing from the farm I don’t miss. Love your story, Ellie and great picture!

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    1. Oh my, those sound most unpleasant Sandra. They remind me of ‘puneses’ that we used to have in France. They were so smelly if you accidentally brushed one or crushed it, that you couldn’t get rid of the smell no matter how often you washed your hands! It rivalled some cheeses!Thanks so much, Sandra.

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  2. I often wondered where these bugs go in such cold winter over here and then come back in the warmer months. 🙂 I am okay with them staying indoors as long as they don't find a way into the provisions and spoil all the rice and grains. I had such an invasion with small moths and their caterpillars once. Not nice. The spiders did help to get rid of them. Now everything in the cupboard is in jars and well closed containers.
    I enjoyed your little story.

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  3. The field milkweed that has been growing back of your home and along the Bigelow Trail is the same as the milkweed Monarchs fed on in Indianapolis where I grew up. I've been watching these and hoping to see eggs around here for the past two seasons.

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  4. Yes, I have them residing in my house too, that's in Wisconsin. They have never bit me or my grandchildren who visit often and are amazed by them. We always called then lady bugs. I have a fondness for them.

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  5. They are Lady Bugs in Cincinnati. I’m glad you allow them to live to return to your garden in the Spring.

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    1. Yes, they are”Entomologists in the United States widely prefer the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles as these insects are not true bugs.” So I have edited the text a bit! (They are not true birds either, LOL!) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. +Giselle Savoie thanks! I knew them in the UK too, but not sure where they first originated. 😀 At least they survive indoors.

    Thanks a lot +Sumit Sen

    Thanks very much +Photo Mania Canada and +Giselle Savoie and +Mark HELM – I always appreciate your reshares!

    +Suhas Dhanwate – in the post I do make a note that they are called ladybugs in the US. In the UK. In fact "Entomologists in the United States widely prefer the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles as these insects are not true bugs."

    +Susanne Stelle 😉

    +iannick poirier yes, some do, but as Wikipedia says, "Entomologists in the United States widely prefer the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles as these insects are not true bugs." Of course they are not true birds, either. 😉

    Thanks for that additional info +Jim DUEBLER

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  7. Beautiful photos in the Gallery, Ellie, and a lovely article. Ladybirds over here have many different numbers of spots and can be different colours too, I’ve seen yellow ones, and black ones with red spots – which are extraordinary.

    They are most definitely ‘Ladybirds’ over here, and there is a rather gruesome nursery rhyme:

    ‘Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home –
    Your house is on fire and your children are gone!’

    (Sorry!)

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    1. Thanks so much, Prue. Ah yes, I know the song well. And it goes on with “All except for little Nan. She hid under the frying pan!” There are so many fascinating insects to see, I love them all, even the ones that bite, when they’re not biting!

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  8. +Kimberly Smith​ thank you so much, I'm so pleased that you do. I am sure you have your fair share of wandering ladybirds around your house too, at the moment. I was shocked when I realized that they have a little nip to them when they are upset (when you accidentally brush them off your face too roughly when you are woken up by them!) 😀
    No, the Monarch Butterfly larvae were in Maine, in the Botanical Gardens I visited last year when Steven was teaching down there. I have, however, joined the butterfly club at the Tobiatic reserve and they sent me some seeds to grow into Marsh milkweed for them. I will have to plant them soon, but they won't flower until next year, unfortunately.

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  9. we do kill them too who ever bit us …. some time its fun when its some real big bug every one running and hidding and then one brave person take action and win back peace at home ….. thank you so kind of you wonderful lady wish you fun and health …take care

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  10. ts so cool , know i know why they come in the house we all try to kik them out specially flies and mosketose ….. i though they lost there way and come in so some times we take them out and leave them in plants ….. thanks havefun good day

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