Ladybugs are such interesting insects, not only because of their colors but also the way they live. They may be insects that you see roaming free outside, they make a good pet as well for your home. You just have to make sure that their habitat is comfortable and you will meet their daily needs. Just like any pet that you may want to keep at home.
Can You Keep Ladybugs as Pets?
Yes, you can! However, it is important to make sure that you know the ins and outs of taking care of them inside your home. It is good to know what they eat, where to place them, and what their daily lives are like.
You can easily make a comfortable home for your pet ladybugs. This article will talk about the things that you can do to make sure that your ladybug will get the home that it deserves.
Safety Tips for You And Your New Ladybug Pet
Just like any other pets that you may have at home, there are different types of safety procedures that you should be aware of when you are taking care of a ladybug. You might want to think of where you can place the ladybug first and then move to other matters once that is figured out.
You should also understand how they eat and their lifecycle. Creating a safe place for your ladybug is important for them to live peacefully and happily.
Avoiding Ladybugs’ Defensive Mechanism to Keep Them Safe
A ladybug’s defense mechanism is to release a toxic fluid called hemolymph. This is a yellowish colored fluid that is naturally toxic. Ladybugs releases this toxic fluid from the joints of their legs. When they release this toxic fluid, it would prevent their predators to eat them.
Do ladybugs have a defense mechanism?
A ladybug’s larvae also have a defense mechanism. They release a toxic called alkaloids from their abdomen. Just like an adult ladybug, this toxin has a toxic smell where a keeper might have trouble with it.
The odor that it releases may bother or annoy a person who is taking care of a ladybug. However, the toxic that they release is not harmful to people. There are some animals, on the other hand, that can be harmed by the toxic fluid that a ladybug releases. To learn more about this chemical defense mechanism, check out our article Are Ladybugs Poisonous?
How to Catch Ladybugs
If you would like to keep a ladybug as a pet, you should know where to find and catch them. Determining the location of where to get a ladybug is important. They are not hard to find if you have a garden nearby.
They can be found usually clinging to leaves, blades of grass, and any other types of vegetation. They love staying in warm, moist areas just like fields, glades, and cultivation sites like gardens or farms.
The best time to go looking for ladybugs is during late spring and early summer. This is the time where everything is beginning to bloom. Once the weather starts to cool, ladybugs usually seek out warmth under rocks, hollow trees, and the opening of homes or structures.
How do you attract ladybugs?
Once you’ve found the location of where to get your ladybug, you would need to scoop it up gently by your hand. Most of the time, catching a ladybug is simply reaching out and plucking it from its hiding spot.
Once you have gotten the ladybug in your hand, make sure that you cradle it on your palm and form a ‘bowl’ with your fingers. This can prevent the ladybug to escape from your hand.
However, if you are worried that you might hurt the ladybug in your hand, you can rest your hand next to the surface where you found the ladybug and wait for it to crawl into your hand.
You have to keep in mind that ladybugs are small and delicate creatures, so you have to make sure not to pinch, squeeze, or grip them too hard in your hands.
Collect ladybugs using a net
Another technique that you may use to catch a ladybug is using a net. If you want to catch multiple ladybugs, then this is the best technique that you can use. Take a small butterfly net and slowly glide it along the edge of tall grass or leaves of plants.
Collect ladybugs using a light tent
If you plan to catch ladybugs at night, you can use a makeshift light tent. Prop a sheet of plywood, cardboard box, or similar to flat surface against an exterior wall. Once you have found the perfect spot, place a white cloth on top of your plywood or cardboard box.
Plug a small floodlight or backlight in front of the covered board and leave it for a few hours. The ladybugs will begin to gather on the cloth, you can gently brush them off and put them on a small container.
Take note that UV light will draw curious ladybugs out of hiding just like it draws moths and other insects.
Food For Your New Pet Ladybugs
In their natural habitat, ladybugs usually eat aphids that can be found in plants. However, there are other things that you can feed your ladybugs at home. When feeding your ladybug, you have to consider their size.
Feeding portions of ladybugs
Too much feeding is not recommended since it may kill your ladybug. It is always nice to feed your ladybug in a small container like a bottle cap. Feeding them twice a day is enough for them to survive. For more information on what ladybugs eat, take a look at What Do Ladybugs Eat? Lets Find Out.
Here are some of the food that you can give them daily.
Lady’s Favorite Fruits
Some people may think that feeding ladybugs fruits or anything sugary is dangerous for them. However, this is not the case. It is safe for them to eat fruits as long as it is non-acidic. Their favorites are fruits that have high sugar content.
Some examples of fruits that you can give your ladybugs are bananas, dates, figs, grapes, papaya, and persimmons. However, their favorite fruits are grapes and raisins because of their high sugar content.
There are also some low acidic fruits that you can provide such as apples, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and raspberries. The safest food that you can give to your ladybugs is rehydrated apricots and strawberries.
Vegetables to Keep Her Healthy
There are a lot of ladybugs species that you might catch along the way. Some of them are vegetarian and only feed on leaves. You can feed your ladybugs lettuce and cucumbers, however, it is only advisable to feed vegetables temporarily.
You can only feed them lettuce or cucumbers if there is no other food that you can feed them. You can call this the ‘emergency food’ for your ladybugs. It is still advisable to give them their daily food such as aphids and other soft-bodied insects.
The Yummiest Insects
As mentioned above, the number one food that you can feed your ladybug is aphids. It is their most favored meal. There are a few places where you can get aphids such as pet stores or on Amazon.
Now, if you do not want to spend any money, you can always go in your backyard and scoop up some aphids that you can find on your plants. Other insects that they eat are spider mites, mealybugs, and plant lice.
It is still advisable to buy them in pet stores or online because it may be hard to find and catch them in your backyard.
Water and Drinks for Your New Pet
Water and honey is the best drink for your ladybug pet. However, there is a correct process on how you can provide water to them. The best technique is to place it on a damp paper towel or sponge for your ladybug to drink.
Ladybugs do not drink much water so a damp paper towel or sponge is enough to last them for seven days. Make sure that you check your water source every couple of days and re-wet it once it feels dry.
You should not leave a pool of water in your ladybug’s habitat since they might drown. An alternative technique that you can use is to fill a spray bottle with clean water. Once you have done so, you can spray the walls of your habitat daily.
The thin layer of moisture is great for your ladybugs to stay hydrated.
The Container for Housing Your Ladybug
The ideal size for a container is that it should be at least a square foot or bigger. Miniature terrariums and bug boxes are great to keep your ladybugs in. You could also use a large plastic food container that you rarely use.
Ladybugs love to fly and explore, so giving them a lot of space is a great idea. You need to also make sure that there are a lot of holes in your container that you can let enough air in without letting your ladybugs out.
How to Make a Ladybug Habitat
It is also wise to put some sticks, leaves, rocks, or even shells in their habitat so that they can have a place to hide. You can line the bottom of the container with materials that are natural in a ladybug’s habitat such as grass, leaves, or small stones.
Now, if you can’t find any natural structures, few small pieces of cardboard can do the trick. The cover can add obstacles for your ladybugs to have plenty of exercises daily. Just like a fish tank, it is always advisable to clean your ladybug’s habitat at least once a week.
Release in The Spring
A ladybug can live up to one year. Most of the things that they do in their daily lives are flying around and feed on plant pests. This is the reason why they are called a gardener’s or farmer’s best friends.
How do you store ladybugs?
In nature, they have all the space that they need to move about. However, when you keep them in a container at home, it can give them limited space. It is always a good idea to have a bigger container for them to move freely in.
How to Take Care of Ladybugs
When you’re keeping a ladybug as a pet, it is always a good idea to copy at least the same environment that they would get outside. When taking care of a ladybug at home it is always recommended to release them in the spring.
How to feed ladybugs
Ladybugs belong to nature where they can move freely and have all the aphids that they want. Keeping them in your home for a long time does not have any harmful effect on the ladybugs as long as you will feed them daily and provide the right habitat for them.
Give a comfortable environment
Releasing your ladybugs into the wild is more advisable since they would have access to all the soft-bodied insects that they want to eat. You have to remember that ladybugs may get comfortable indoors, however, their true home is the outside world.
- Keeping ladybugs in your home will be a big responsibility. Learning how to feed them properly and keeping their habitat comfortable for them is important for them to live.
- You can feed them fruits if you do not have easy access to soft-bodied insects such as aphids. Make sure that you do not feed them any acidic fruits since this can be bad for them.
- Getting a container where they can move freely is another important thing to remember.
- It is your choice if you want to release them during spring. However, it is advisable to do so since they belong outside. Now, you can confidently say that you can take care of ladybugs in your home!
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