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Backyard Fun: How to Build a Ladybug Habitat


Make a backyard ladybug habitat

Making a ladybug habitat is educational as well as fun and a great outdoor activity. Why these garden bugs? Ladybugs are real, they are fanciful, they are story characters. Ladybugs fascinated us when we were children and learned our numbers by counting the spots on their backs. We owe a lot to our little ladybugs. Do you remember the first baby ladybug you saw? You know, the one that had no spots? Of course you do. I know I do.

Ladybugs are lucky bugs

Well, the ladybugs remain the same and kids remain the same. Kids are as curious about ladybugs as we were. So this spring why not create a ladybug habitat. If you're lucky, the ladybugs might even bring you a few gifts. They are said to symbolize good luck and good fortune. And who can't do with a little of that?

Create a ladybug habitat and celebrate Earth Day every day

Earth Day is around the border but you can make every day Earth Day. Yes, Earth Day is celebrated worldwide on April 22nd but any time is a great time to lure those ladybugs to your yard. Why not make ladybugs part of your personal Earth Day celebration? Read on to learn more about these delightful bugs and the many ways you can weave them into your life.

How to pet a ladybug - Few backyard insects are as sweet as a ladybug

Love this. How many times have you walked up on a ladybug and had the urge to reach out and pet the little bug but hesitated? Worried that you might hurt the little lady? Don't worry. Here's a tutorial video that will give you some ideas on how to approach a ladybug and give it a pet.

ladybug, diagram of a ladybug

ladybug, diagram of a ladybug

Why Ladybugs?

Ladybugs are helpful because they eat aphids. Aphids are nasty pear-shaped little creatures that destroy plants and trees. Because ladybugs eat the aphids, ladybugs are friends of gardeners everywhere.

The wonder of ladybugs

Ladybugs are interesting insects. They do some things that other animals do. Like the bears, ladybugs like to hibernate in the winter. They cuddle together and spend their winters burrowed under piles of leaves and other tree waste for the warmth. Ladybugs are also a bit like turtles and opossums. Do you know they can play dead? Think about the way a turtle tucks his head inside his shell. Ladybugs tuck their heads, too, and they tuck their little legs so they look dead. They do it to protect themselves.

Remember the nursery rhyme of Ladybug, Ladybug Fly Away Home?

Lady-bug, lady-bug,

Fly away home,

Your house is on fire,

Your children will burn

I remember reciting this rhyme when I was a child and found a ladybug had landed on my arm. While to our standards the rhyme is a bit brutal when its intended audience is made up of children, It goes back to the time in England when farmers, who prized the help they received from the ladybugs, would cry out this warning before they set their fields on fire. The old English version goes like this:

Ladybug ladybug fly away home,

Your house in on fire and your children are gone,

All except one and that's little Ann,

For she crept under the frying pan.

Who Likes Ladybugs?

Do you love ladybugs or do you go after them with bug spray?

Frame your loved one with a Ladybug luck and love

Ladybug Facts

  1. There are over five thousand different species of Ladybugs throughout the world. Yes, 5,000.
  2. The female ladybug is a little larger than the male but not by much.
  3. Ladybugs live about 1-2 years.
  4. Their main diet is aphids but they will also eat small insects, moth eggs and pollen.
  5. A mama ladybug can lay anywhere from 20 - 1,000 eggs during a 3-month span in either the spring or summer.
  6. Most ladybugs are red, orange or yellow in color. Most have black spots, though some are black with red spots. A few ladybug types have checkerboard markings and stripes.
  7. There are a few species that are a blue metallic color.
  8. Ladybugs need their antennae to smell, touch and taste.
  9. There is an official Ladybug Day. It occurs every 90 years.
  10. Many consider ladybugs to be a sign of good luck and good fortune.

Good Book About Ladybugs - Science picture books are great learning tools

Ladybugs are favorite characters in books. Children delight in them. If you're looking for a children's book, you won't go wrong. Try this sciene-based one that offers great explanations about ladybugs and other insects.

Starting to get the Ladybug habitat bug? - Try out these different styles of habitats for the lady bugs

There's more than one way to view a lady bug. Do you remember flopping onto the ground and quietly scrunching up to get a close view of that odd praying mantis or that strange ladybug with no spots? You'd try to sneak up to get a close view.

Do you worry about your garden ladybugs when there's heavy rain? Want to protect them? Now you can add a wonderful ladybug shelter to your backyard.

More books about ladybugs - Have fun with ladybug stickers

The Ladybug Girl is a great series with lovable illustrations and stories. You can also learn more about ladybugs by reading these nonfiction books, although geared for young children these books are a great way for adults to learn more, too. When it comes to picture books, Eric Carle is a master storyteller and his The Grouchy Ladybug picture book is a classic. Of course, you can't forget to have a few lady bug stickers around, too.

What Do You Need to Make A Simple Ladybug Habitat?

Supplies needed for this inexpensive backyard science project

The most basic of ladybug habitats can be made with the following household items:

tall jar or aquarium-type tank

aphids for food

stems and pieces of plants for food

the ladybugs

food scraps and water

gloves, a necessity

Backyard Safari Bug Vacuum with Lazer Light - Easy way to transfer and gentle on the creatures

Any good backyard explorer needs a few tools. Should provide hours of fun.

How Do You Make a Simple Ladybug Habitat?

Easy-to-find household items transform into a ladybug's habitat

Making the habitat is pretty easy. If you want to find ladybugs around your home, check your plants for aphids. Search for small green or black speck-like bugs on your plant stems. Those are your aphids. They suck the life out of the plants. The ladybugs should be close by.

  • Before you catch the ladybugs, you might want to get your habitat set up. Break off some plant stems as they'll be good food. Try to get the ones that have the aphids on them. That way you'll have the main food source for your ladybugs at the same time. Stand them up inside the tank or jar so you can get a good view of your little red pets-to-be. Be sure and give a light misting of water. Even ladybugs like to drink.
  • Catching the ladybugs is pretty easy. You may already have some when you put the stems with the aphids inside the tank or jar. Check rose bushes and other plants where aphids tend to congregate. When you find the ladybugs, give a gentle nudge or knock against the jar or tank and the ladybug will land inside.
  • As with any living creature, you'll want to be sure your ladybugs get plenty of food and water. Make sure they have a good supply of aphids but don't stop there. Drop a bit of a raisin or apple inside the tank or jar and watch how they eat away at the fruit. A gentle daily mist will provide a good amount of moisture for the ladybugs since the plants that they chew on have a lot of water in them.

Don't forget to let your ladybugs fly away at the end of summer. They will want to hibernate through the long winter.

Hey Ladybug, Let Me Count Your Spots

Hey Ladybug, Let Me Count Your Spots

Hey Ladybug, Let Me Count Your Spots

  • Image Credits.This image was copied from wikipedia:de. The original description was: == Marienkäfer == Quelle: Lizenz: [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What Happens After the Habitat is Made?

Ladybugs provide a lot of entertainment

Once the ladybugs get settled, they may start laying eggs. That's when the fun begins.

Observation is the key to understanding nature. Grab a camera and a notebook and start watching the ladybugs. You'll be able to watch them interact with each other, see how and what they eat, and discover how they move. Tale photos, make notes, and always date everything so you have an accurate record.

Don't forget you can put bits of apples and raisins in there, too, for them to munch on. See which they prefer. Always write down what you see. Note the date and time. Maybe you'll learn some ladybug habits. And don't forget to give them a very light mist now and then.

Creature Peeper - Get a good look at the ladybugs and life in your backyard

Do you remember the fun you had as a child when you got up close and personal with a bug? Maybe you fell to the ground and crept up to peer at a ladybug resting on a nearby leaf or sat silently waiting for a ladybug to come and rest on your arm.

Want to Know More about Ladybugs? - Learn more about ladybugs

Here's a few sites around the Internet to get you going.

Learn about the Ladybug life cycle - Presents the full cycle of the seven spotted ladybug

Learn all about the life cycle of a lady bug here. (Did you know that a ladybug might be alive for only one month?)

Ladybug, Ladybug Song & Video

Ladybug Fun Activities - Fun things to do with ladybugs

  • Ladybug Coloring Pages
    DLTK's Nursery Rhymes for Kids: Ladybug, Ladybug Coloring Pages, Posters and Tracer Pages
  • Ladybug Felt Board Characters
    Use these as puppets or characters to have more ladybug fun.
  • Ladybug Finger Puppets
    Templates to create finger puppets.
  • Ladybug Bean Bag
    Make a ladybug bean bag. This project requires either sewing or hot glue skills. A child of age 7 or so could do the project with adult supervision. Younger children can help stuff the project and would love to receive it as a gift from an older sibl

Backyard Explorer Science Kit - Terrific tools to explore the backyard

Turn a bird house into a ladybug house - Spring backyard activity project and craft

Maybe you wish the ladybugs in your back yard had a home where they could fly to during the spring rains or perhaps you'd just like to provide them with some shelter. Here's a quick video tutorial on how to make a lady bug house out of a birdhouse. You'll also learn how to attract the ladybugs once the house is ready.

Ladybug Land - Don't want to build your own habitat? Try this.

If you enjoyed reading this page, you'll find more ideas for backyard fun below. I hope you'll check those out, too. Thank you for stopping by.

Share your ladybug experiences, comments & suggestions - Tell me your ladybug story

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on October 29, 2014:


Wow! I know this is ironic, but Ladybugs, Grasshoppers are my All-time favorite insects. I used to make ants a place to live in my aquarium and they loved it, but a family member killed them with hot water while I was at work. This was tough.

Anyway, for your hub, I will tell you the truth. I think that this is an excellent piece of writing. Amazing work.

I loved the way you presented your topic. Wonderful graphics.

This piece was helpful, informative and very interesting.I was glad to vote Up and all of the choices.

You are certainly a gifted writer. Please keep up the fine work.


Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Alabama

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on September 23, 2014:

We had a neighbor whose home became invested with lady bugs. I never knew they could be such a nuisance. They were everywhere.

SteveKaye on June 28, 2014:

Fantastic lens about a fantastic bug.

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on April 12, 2014:

Ladybugs, or ladybirds as we sometimes called them when I was a child, have always fascinated me. As a wee one, I loved to feel their little feet tickling my palm when I held them. Lovely page. Thank you for all the care that went into it.

Paula Hite from Virginia on April 10, 2014:

I love ladybugs! Thanks for the awesome lens!

Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on April 09, 2014:

What a fun and informative lens!

CherylsArt on March 17, 2014:

I just recently caught a lady bug in my house and released it outside.

tonyleather on December 25, 2013:

Excellent lens about a truly beautiful and garden friendly insect that has an undeserved bad reputation.

anonymous on September 09, 2013:

Can Ladybugs Bite?

DebMartin on September 07, 2013:

Lady bug, lady bug, fly away home.... a favorite from my childhood

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on September 06, 2013:

@acreativethinker: Thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit.

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on September 06, 2013:

@Johanna Eisler: That's great news that you see a difference. Sometimes it takes time for nature to do her thing but she eventually does get there if we can have a little patience.

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on September 06, 2013:

@iijuan12: Thanks!. I'm glad the ladybugs are doing such a good job.

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on September 06, 2013:

@Northerntrials: Crickets are cool but I have to say when you have a pond they can get really noisy. :)

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on September 06, 2013:

@anonymous: I know. I remember them landing on my hands and arms when I was playing outside as a child and being so fascinated with them. Of course, I always had to count the spots.

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on September 06, 2013:

@Lady Lorelei: You would think...but I just learned some new things today as I was updating pages. :)

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on September 05, 2013:

Wow you have everything in here that anyone could possible want to know about the little ladybug. Adorable just like she is.

anonymous on September 04, 2013:

I hate really hate most bugs, anything that is creepy, crawly or flies in my face LOL, but everyone has to love ladybugs, they are just so delicate and adorable!

Northerntrials on September 04, 2013:

I used to have a terrarium as a kid and collected all sorts of insects and animals but the one I knew from the beginning was better left to the garden was the ladybug. I could always enjoy them first hand there and they enjoy doing good work. Now crickets... they were always in my terrarium .. don't you love the sound they make at night... It used to drive my brothers nuts. Maybe that's why I kept them.

Shannon from Florida on June 16, 2013:

Great resource! We try to encourage ladybugs to visit our gardens and eat up aphids.

Johanna Eisler on June 15, 2013:

We have purchased ladybugs twice recently, hoping to control or eliminate the scale on our fruit trees. Although the scale is not gone, it seems to have diminished greatly. We have even greater hopes for success next year! :)

acreativethinker on May 03, 2013:

What a fantastic lens on ladybugs. Just so cute and some great ideas. Thanks for sharing.

Take care :)

centralplexus on April 28, 2013:

Awesome lens on ladybugs, well done!

Melissa Miotke from Arizona on April 25, 2013:

This is a great idea. I'd love to draw more ladybugs to our yard. My daughter loves them:)

Treasures By Brenda from Canada on April 21, 2013:

Love ladybugs except maybe when we get a swarm of them in the fall. That's only happened a couple of times in my experience though.

Takkhis on April 16, 2013:

Great lens on ladybugs and The ladybug teapot is awesome :)

gottaloveit2 on April 15, 2013:

What a really excellent article on ladybugs! I learned so much - it's this type of article that makes Squidoo great. Thanks.

Birthday Wishes from Here on April 09, 2013:

I just love it when they land on your arms and at first you are shocked, but then you see that it is a lovely ladybug and you start to smile... Great lens!!!

Ardyn25 on April 07, 2013:

We've made ant habitats but not ladybugs, wonderful idea!

Ben Reed from Redcar on April 06, 2013:

Love those ladybugs.

Anthony Altorenna from Connecticut on April 06, 2013:

Ladybugs are always welcome in my garden! We do not use any pesticides and strive to create a wildlife friendly yard that encourages birds, bugs and other critters to visit.

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on April 03, 2013:

@aesta1: Thank you. I'm glad you are seeing more of our dainty little friends.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on April 02, 2013:

These info especially the acts about ladybugs make me notice them in the garden.

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on March 31, 2013:

@dellgirl: Thank you. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit.

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on March 31, 2013:

@ismeedee: Yes, it does have a way of staying with you, doesn't it?

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on March 31, 2013:

@Nadooa: Oh now, say it ain't so. I'm so glad that the little bugs are growing on you. :)

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on March 31, 2013:

@stephen downing: You bet. I think this is a great project for the family.

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on March 31, 2013:

@Michelllle: Thank you very much. I tend to this page as much as I tend to my flowers. :)

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on March 31, 2013:

@lionmom100: Thanks! This has turned out to be a labor of love.

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on March 31, 2013:

@hntrssthmpsn: Yeah, I don't see them around much, either. You may be right, time for ladybugs. :)

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on March 31, 2013:

@GardenerDon: Yes, they are aphid eaters. I know they are pretty delicate so it's nice that you took care of them. I don't see them around as much as I did when I was a kid. That may be why.

Gardener Don on March 29, 2013:

I tend to be extra careful when using pesticides in my garden, to the point of only using when there is no other choice, all in an effort to keep my garden a ladybug haven, they do so much to keep the aphids away.

hntrssthmpsn on March 29, 2013:

Ladybugs are such pretty little things! We had a ton of them at my childhood home, but I rarely see them at our current home. Incidentally, for the first time anywhere I've lived, I have trouble with aphids in the garden! Perhaps it's time to set about building an inviting habitat...

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on March 27, 2013:

@norma-holt: Thank you so much. I appreciate you taking the time to return and bless this page again as well as feature it on your page. That's very kind.

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on March 27, 2013:

@Michelllle: Thank you!

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on March 27, 2013:

@crstnblue: Thanks! I'm glad there are so many ladybug lovers.

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on March 27, 2013:

@Carashops: Thanks. Yes, they are one of the great signs of spring.

crstnblue on March 27, 2013:

Wonderful lens dedicated to ladybugs! Love them! : )

Thanks for sharing!

Cara on March 27, 2013:

I always feel summer is on its way when I see my first ladybug of the year. Sweet lens.

lionmom100 on March 26, 2013:

Lots of interesting information on Ladybugs.

Michelllle on March 24, 2013:

What a beautiful page. bravo!

norma-holt on March 23, 2013:

This is such a beautiful lens about a natural phenomena and although I have been here before this time it is featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2013. Hugs.

stephen downing on March 23, 2013:

Excellent lens for all ages, can even get the parents interacting with their children as well.

Nadooa on March 23, 2013:

Thank you for sharing all this with us, honestly I hate ladybugs (bad experience) but now I am leaning more to dislike instead..!

ismeedee on March 06, 2013:

I'm going to have that ladybug song going through my head now for days, I just know it! Lovely lens!

dellgirl on March 01, 2013:

What a unique and fun lens, itâs very interesting and such a great idea for a lens! I love it.

glenbrook on February 13, 2013:

Do you know where I can buy lady bugs? Also interested in praying mantis eggs...

olmpal on August 29, 2012:

Ladybug is so cute and I now know that it is useful too!! I learned a lot about them in your informative lens.

anonymous on May 02, 2012:

Oh Ladybug, Oh Lady Bug...won't you be my friend.. What sweetness you have created here, absolutely delightful! I remember that when I was little that my sister and I would wait to be able to see the first ladybug of spring, there was just something special to us about that.

Thrinsdream on April 16, 2012:

Brillity brill! I love ladybirds . . . sorry Ladybugs (I'm from the UK). Loved this article. With thanks and appreciation. Cathi x

theholidayplace on April 15, 2012:

Very interesting facts, great lens, enjoy it

AlleyCatLane on April 10, 2012:

Interesting ladybug facts. I didn't know they ate pollen too. Maybe i should import some to my yard. I am inundated with pollen from giant oaks and pine trees every year.

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on April 09, 2012:

@ZenandChic: Thank you for your kind comments and for the blessing. Glad you enjoyed your visit. It was fun writing.

Vikk Simmons (author) from Houston on April 09, 2012:

@kathysart: Thank you for the angel blessing and for the visit and comment.

OldStones LM on April 09, 2012:

Great tips you can never have to many ladybugs around the garden.

JJNW from USA on March 23, 2012:

I just love them! I have a couple of Squidoo lenses about them too. ***blessed by a SquidAngel***

kathysart on February 03, 2012:

Who wouldn't love a ladybug? I sure do. Nice lens, angel blessed.

Patricia on October 25, 2011:

Love this lens on ladybugs! I do remember that rhyme. Blessing this well done lens!

andreaberrios lm on October 25, 2011:

Cute lens! I love ladybugs.

JJ37 on September 29, 2011:

Ladybugs need fans like you! Great information! If you want to expand your habitat to include other lovely critters, please come visit my lens, Create a Backyard Habitat - a Hobby for the Whole Family. Take care!

vanidiana24 on September 15, 2011:

Thanks for sharing, this is a wonderful science project kids will surely love!

Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on June 29, 2011:

Inour country there is a saying ladybug can bring a husband to a young lady...

ElizabethJeanAl on June 11, 2011:

Ladybugs are pretty and useful little guys. They are also symbols of luck

anonymous on June 09, 2011:

I love seeing ladybugs, never thought to try to make a habitat for them though! Lots of good info here!

~ Blessed by a Squidoo Angel ~

cinnie2 on June 04, 2011:

I once bought a bag of ladybugs for my garden. I didn't read the directions for release. How hard can it be to open a bag of bugs? I leaned over the aphid-laden squash plants and pulled open the bag. Instead of making an orderly march toward the aphids, they all just flew away. I laughed in spite of my waste of time and money.

Turns out I should have released them in the cool of the morning, or late in the evening.

Vicki Green from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on June 03, 2011:

I had an infestation of aphids on a pine tree in my yard and was about ready to spray when a large number of ladybugs and their larvae appeared. They soon had the aphids under control - very beneficial insects!

hamshi5433 on May 29, 2011:

Beautiful lens..I quite fancy the name of this insect `ladybug` ha :D

Eighteen18 on May 21, 2011:

lots of different ideas here! great lens

RetroMom on May 20, 2011:

Very nice lens. There should be a proper habitat for all the creatures out there. Everybody has the right to live peacefully and happy.

Sheilamarie from British Columbia on May 15, 2011:

Oh, and my ants-go-marching lens, too!

Sheilamarie from British Columbia on May 15, 2011:

Wonderful page on ladybugs! Lensrolled to my stink-bugs-cedar-bugs and butterfly-wonder lenses.

anonymous on May 15, 2011:

Great lens on Ladybug habitats, I used to see them in the rainy season but sadly don't see them anymore these days. Maybe the area is too urbanized.

Ataraxia1 on May 13, 2011:

Ladybugs are so cute. Really nice page, might just have to build a ladybug habitat.

darciefrench lm on May 13, 2011:

I love ladybugs! Sure enjoyed this lens, thanks -:)

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on May 13, 2011:

Wonderful information about the Ladybug!

dwnovacek on May 11, 2011:

I LOVE ladybugs and I LOVE this lens! Informational and beautifully presented. Blessed by your Science neighborhood Squid Angel!

sushilkin lm on May 10, 2011:

Thanks for sharing your knowledge here..

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on April 04, 2011:

Wonderful facts and making a habitat for the ladybug.

Lee Hansen from Vermont on March 31, 2011:

Ladybugs are abundant in my garden along with praying mantis. I love them both.

Jeanette from Australia on March 19, 2011:

Actually the larvae ladybirds (Aussie for ladybugs) are very unusual creatures and fun to identify.

Malu Couttolenc on March 18, 2011:

What an interesting lens. Creating a habitat is a fun activity, would to try making one :)

norma-holt on March 17, 2011:

This is a great lens on an important animal. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Angel blessings for Dogs on Squidoo - Other animals,

Lisa Auch from Scotland on March 17, 2011:

They are also very scarce in the UK! and there is a national survey to keep track of them, If you find them you are meant to report it! Lucky Leprechaun Blessing - Happy St Patricks Day

Carol Fisher from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK on March 10, 2011:

I'm going to send a link to this page to my sister who has a 4 year old son. I'm sure she'll want to make a ladybird habitat because he's fascinated by all kinds flora and fauna. Lensrolled.

Kathy McGraw from California on March 09, 2011:

Love grandkids would love this too. We've often had jars with ladybugs around, but this gives much better info :) Blessed by an Angel :)

Richard from Surrey, United Kingdom on March 09, 2011:

Congrats on the Purple Star :) This is a wonderful one-stop page for all ladybird..uhm...ladybug fans :) Blessed!

Richard from Surrey, United Kingdom on March 09, 2011:

Congrats on the Purple Star :) This is a wonderful one-stop page for all ladybird..uhm...ladybug fans :) Blessed!

Melody Lassalle from California on March 08, 2011:

This lens is full of great information. My niece did the Insect Lore Lady Bug Land kit and just loved being a part of the process. Maybe she is ready to set up her own habitat.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on February 21, 2011:

Lots of great information and activities here. Squid Blessings on this lens (and featured on the Best Insect Webpages on Squidoo).

Addy Bell on February 19, 2011:

I had no idea ladybugs could live one or two years! I assumed they only lived a few weeks or months at most. Thanks for a great resource on ladybugs for people of all ages.

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