Ladybugs won’t stop buggin’ us

Published 1:25 am Wednesday, January 7, 2009

When I was growing up, my grandmother always said that if a ladybug landed on you, it meant you were going to have good luck.

If that’s true, then the girls in the Nelson household need to run on down to Paxton and buy a ticket ‘cause we’re about to hit the jackpot. Our house has been taken over by the little oval ladies, and I am quite freaked out about it.

So I did a little research…this is what I found out.

Ladybugs, a type of beetle, are also called Lady beetles or Ladybirds, and they are all born black. There are more than 5,000 different kinds of ladybugs worldwide.

Hmmm…those last two must be Yankee names ‘cause I’ve never heard of them called anything but ladybugs. And I don’t guess I’ve ever seen a baby ladybug; course, I could’ve just thought it was a gnat.

Ladybugs chew from side to side and produce a chemical that smells and tastes terrible so predators won’t eat them.

I’ll buy that.

Ladybugs eat aphids.

I don’t know what those are, but apparently there are a whole heck of a lot of them in my bathroom, because that seems to be where they congregate the most.

Ladybugs hibernate for the winter.

Apparently the ones living in my house are as confused as we are about what season it is.

Is it winter? Oh, no. It’s 78 degrees outside. Fast forward to the next day and it’s 40 degrees outside.

Ladybugs are commonly known to be red with black spots, but they can also be found as orange with black spots or black with red spots. The color, pattern of markings, and the number of spots on a ladybug will help you identify what type of ladybug it is.

Yep, I got all those at the house….red ones, orange ones. On second thought, I thought those black ones were just weird little bugs.

If you squeeze a ladybug it will bite you, but the bite won’t hurt.

Well, I can tell you that I’m not going to squeeze it. Wouldn’t want to make them mad, and all since they are tied to my impending good luck.

This is what really, and pardon the pun, bugs me…these ladybugs always seem to be landing in my dishwater. I don’t want them to drown and cancel out my good luck.

And now I find out that there are black ladybugs too. I can’t tell you how many of those gnat/ladybugs I’ve let drown in my dishwater.

The spots on ladybugs fade as the ladybug gets old.

Oh my goodness, I’ve figured it out. My house is the new Florida — it’s the retirement village for Yankee ladybugs and they — being the senile ladybugs they are — think my dishwater is the new Destin.

Well, at least when they died in my dishwater, they died happy — basking in the warmth of the Alabama, oops I mean Florida, sun.