Worldwide in most temperate climates
The exact color of lady beetle adults varies with species, but most forms found in gardens are red to reddish-orange with black dots. The number of dots varies with species, and ranges from 7 to 22. All species have six short black legs and rounded bodies about one-third inch (0.8 cm) long. Often called ladybird beetles or lady bugs, lady beetle larvae also are commonly seen roaming garden plants. They look like tiny dark alligators with orange or yellow markings.
Lady beetle adults and larvae consume aphids and other soft-bodied insects. Larvae are especially voracious, capable of eating 100 aphids a day as they gain size. Adults lay clusters of yellow eggs near aphid colonies, so that the young can begin feeding on aphids as soon as they hatch. Many species also help control scale and other small sucking insects.
Food and Habitat:
In addition to aphids and other tiny insects, adult lady beetles consume flower nectar and insect honeydew. Lady beetles overwinter as adults, hidden in bark crevices or buildings, so they are among the first beneficial insects to emerge in spring.
Tolerate small aphid outbreaks in spring to help support a thriving summer population of lady beetles. If no aphids are present, lady beetles will fly away in search of a more promising food supply. Do not use insecticidal soaps or other natural pesticides on plants that have attracted the attention of lady beetles. Landscapes that include a diversity of shrubs, trees, and garden plants often host a healthy population of lady beetles.