We don’t generally see Ladybugs all year round, mainly we just see them at certain times of the year. And it’s often not until we do see them that we start to wonder where they were the rest of the time!
With that in mind, I thought I’d write something of a ‘year in the life’ of a Ladybug so we can trace what they’re living and dwelling habits might be during that time. But first, here’s the quick answer…
Where do Ladybugs Live? Ladybugs live across most of the world. But where exactly is largely dependent on the climate and the time of year. Like much of nature, there’s a time for mating, a time for feeding and a time for hibernating, so Ladybirds are subject to the same routines as the rest of the natural world.
Let’s explore this in more detail. But first, here’s a quick table summary of where you’ll most likely find Ladybugs at which point in the year.
|Month||Main Activity||Where Ladybugs Can be Found|
|October – February||Hibernation/Diapause||Under Shelter, Away From Elements, Hidden|
|March – April||Emerging From Hibernation||Near Water Source, Gardens, Woodland, Forest, Shrubs, Crops, Orchards|
|May||Mating||Under Leaves, Gardens, Woodland, Shrubs, Forest, Crops, Orchards|
|June – August||Feeding, Mating, Hatching||Gardens, Woodland, Forest, Shrubs, Crops, Orchards|
|September||Feeding||Mainly Feeding, Gardens, Shrubs, Woodland, Forest, Crops, Orchards|
Of Course, adjust by 6 months for the Southern Hemisphere.
So, here’s where Ladybugs come from and where you can find them…
Historically Where do Ladybugs Come from?
Believe it or not, Ladybugs have been around for thousands and thousands of years. Undoubtedly developed from water-based creatures that evolved into the multitude of variations and creatures we know of today. Some creatures developed to swim, some became land-based walkers, and the Ladybugs were one of those that evolved to fly along with a plethora of other flying insects.
They were around long before Dinosaurs and even before some of the first types of Bacteria. They‘ve no doubt changed dramatically in that time, for example, we know that right up to a couple of thousand years ago they were significantly larger than the ones you see today. So they’ve simply evolved in order to continue to thrive in their habitat – much the same as the rest of the natural world.
Do Ladybirds Live in one Place?
Ladybugs are found throughout the world, the only main exceptions being arctic conditions and extreme deserts. Do they live in one place though? Well yes and no, they’re most often associated with a continent of origin – even though they may have spread or been carried to other parts of the world or other regions.
Even though they find places to mate and hibernate, Ladybugs do not live in nests or burrows, or in particular spots like under certain rocks or in certain trees. They have their preferences when finding places to hibernate or laying eggs, but they will dwell in all manner of places throughout the year, you can find them in most common settings.
Most of the time Ladybugs remain within the region in which they’ve become adapted to and comfortable to live in. The only reason Ladybugs would have to spread outside this region would be due to food shortages – when foraging further afield becomes a necessity.
Here’s a typical year in the life of a Ladybug. This largely ties in around the life cycle of the Ladybug, But this article will help you to check this against what month you’re in now to give you a good idea of where they are currently living and why…
Let’s assume the Ladybug is in its second year, Ladybugs generally live for 1-2 Years, sometimes even for 3 years. So let’s assume it’s not hatching this year it’s just living this entire year as an adult.
October – February
This is when you’re much less likely to see Ladybugs. During late fall they’ll be looking for a place to settle in for the coming winter. Once they’ve found a place they will wait out the cold winter season in diapause – or hibernation until the warmer weather comes. Ladybugs are cold-blooded creatures, so you’ll often find them nestled in groups to maintain an adequate temperature.
This time of year Ladybugs will mostly be hidden from the elements, which also means more hidden from view. You may find them if you were to look under a fallen tree, or inside tree bark, perhaps under some dense foliage or undergrowth. If you’re not so lucky, you may find them hibernating in your home! Which does have its downsides?
March – April
Assuming that at some point during March to April the temperatures start to rise, then so will the Ladybugs begin to come out of their hiding places. They’ll have lasted by reducing their energy levels to around 10% of their normal amount and by remaining still or asleep most of the time.
They’ll emerge hungry, and possibly thirsty if there wasn’t much by way of moisture where they were hibernating. Once Temperatures reach around 13-15°F, Ladybugs will be able to fly again. So they’ll then be on the hunt!
This is when you may begin to notice them, they’ll either be sitting still and waiting to warm up before flying off. Or they’ll already be buzzing around your garden in search of food and water. So they can be seen in many places by the end of this period. Back yards, Fields, Crops, Orchards, Woods, and Forests, or near inland water sources.
Having had some time to recover from Winter, Ladybugs will turn their attention towards mating. May is generally the main mating season, however, mating can (and does) continue throughout the summer months too.
Here you’ll find them mainly in areas where food is more abundant, they’ll in fact often mate near colonies of aphids or other food sources that Ladybugs Eat. And indeed trying to avoid the creatures that eat Ladybugs! So expect to see them in gardens, fields, orchards and among agricultural crops.
June – August
The females will be laying lots of batches of eggs – which you might see often on the underside of leaves. Newly hatched Ladybugs will also be bolstering the numbers around this time, so this is when you’ll likely see Ladybirds the most.
Food is plenty during this time and they’ll be enjoying the warmth of summer and the long days, plenty of time for feeding and some later mating. Where do they live during this time? Largely the same as before, expect to see them in gardens, crops, orchards, fields forests and woodland. Essentially wherever most food is present.
As we approach the end of August, this is when Ladybugs will be looking to increase fat reserves in preparation for the coming Winter. Expect to see them perhaps a little less during this time, particularly if it’s a generally cold September as they will be busy munching their way through as many aphids and other soft-bodied insects as possible before it comes time to look for a place to settle in for the winter.
Our Ladybug being in their second year, may not make it through this winter. But that’s the circle of life. It will have eaten its way through around 5000 aphids during its lifetime and spawned up to 1000 eggs, many of which will become the next generation we see the following year.
Why So Many Ladybugs In Summer?
As mentioned, after the mating season, there are lots more Ladybugs that are hatching and going through the larva and Pupal stages, these will really start to emerge from their Pupa during the height of summer and begin flying around. So inevitably the numbers of ladybugs around during Summer will increase.
Ever seen a Purple Ladybug?
I hope this article was helpful, most of us love seeing Ladybugs, its one of those markers which signal the end of winter and the coming of Spring, and when they land on us in Summer, it’s a reminder that sunny days are with us.
I hope this article was useful in letting you know where Ladybugs Live at each point in the year. Be sure to take a look around as there are plenty of places to find them during most of the months. If you find them in any unusual places, or at any unusual times I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.