Ladybugs are one of the most commonly recognized of all the beneficial insects and are considered an apex predator in the insect world. They have few natural enemies other than the carpet beetle and have an excellent defense mechanism. They can be a gardener’s best friend and an ally in controlling other insect populations.
Ladybugs have a voracious appetite for aphids and will consume a large amount of aphids during their lifetime. Ladybugs also eat a wide variety of other insects as well. They are beneficial in controlling chinch bugs, whiteflies, mites and other soft-bodied insects and larvae. This can help to reduce your reliance on chemical pest control methods in the garden.
Ladybugs also produce an offensive odor for repelling predators through a process which is sometimes called “reflexive bleeding”. They can actually exude small amounts of blood which contains a toxic alkaloid. They are also brightly colored in a manner that also helps to deter predators. There offensive smell normally doesn’t affect humans.
It’s also important to remember that ladybugs do not feed on wooden structures or any type of stored food products.