With their bright red shells and distinctive spots, ladybugs in your garden and home are hard to miss. You may find them in the morning crawling on your patio furniture or even hanging out on your garden plants. You might wonder, where do ladybugs go during the rest of the day, and where do they make their homes?
Unlike many insects, ladybugs sleep at night and are active during the day. In the morning, they will often sit still on leaves and other surfaces because they need external heat to raise their body temperature. Once they can fly, ladybugs will go search for food or find somewhere safe to nest.
Despite their name, ladybugs are a type of beetle you can find all over the world in various habitats, from sandy dunes to forests and even in your garden. Most species are predators and prey on aphids and mites, but a few also feast on mildew or fungi. Keep reading to find out more about their daily habits!
- Ladybugs are typically active during the daytime and sleep at night in a safe place away from potential predators.
- Most ladybugs are predators and search for food during the day, such as aphids and mites.
- Ladybugs require external heat to raise their body temperatures, so they spend most mornings immobile on leaves in the sun.
What Time Are Ladybugs Most Active?
Ladybugs Are Most Active In the Late Morning And Afternoon
Ladybugs are most active in the late morning to afternoon hours. This is because, in the morning, they are too busy trying to get warmed up so they have the energy to fly and carry out their business for the rest of the day. In the late evenings and overnight, ladybugs are busy catching some zzz’s and waiting for the sun to rise again.
The Warmer The Day, The More Active Ladybugs Are
Although they are usually most active during the day, a ladybug’s schedule can change slightly depending on the climate where they live (and how much sun the area gets during the day).
The hotter the day and the brighter the sun, the more active ladybugs will be! If the weather suddenly turns cold, expect ladybugs to find somewhere to hibernate or rest up quickly, otherwise, they risk getting caught outside in winter without a food source. For more information on what ladybugs do in winter, check out our article on the places ladybugs go during winter.
Ladybugs plan their day around the sun because they are cold-blooded critters and need it to help regulate their body heat.
Best Time Of Day To Spot Ladybugs
If you are looking for the best time of day to spot some ladybugs, hang out in your garden on a sunny and toasty summer day. You may see them crawling or even flying by, looking for food or water sources. Also, if you can find plants that have lots of aphids, there will be ladybugs hanging out close by.
Where You’ll Most Likely Find Ladybugs Living During The Day
Ladybugs Go Where The Food Is
The short answer is ladybugs will go anywhere they can find a good meal or a safe place to sleep! Ladybugs hibernate in the winter, so you can usually find them trying to eat to prepare for the months ahead.
What they eat depends on the type of ladybug, but most of them snack on a few staples:
- Spider mites
- Psyllids (plant lice)
Ladybugs Hang Out On Vegetation
When they are not on the prowl for food, ladybugs hang out on vegetation. There, they try to find a mate and lay their eggs on the protected underside of leaves.
Ladybug eggs will first hatch into larvae, which will then form pupae and finally grow into adults. This process will take between one to two months.
Ladybugs often lay eggs near large amounts of aphids or other prey, so the larvae (and then the new adults) have plenty to eat. This technique helps ensure the survival of the young, and it can take care of an aphid infestation fast.
To put it in perspective, the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) tells us that each adult ladybug can eat about 50 aphids a day, totaling 5,000 aphids in its lifetime!
Ladybugs May Find Their Way Into Your Home
Although there are many benefits to having ladybugs in your garden, you may be tired of finding them inside your home. Take a look at our guide on the ways ladybugs get into your house for a detailed look at all the entry points these tiny beetles use to get inside your home.
Alongside pest-proofing and sealing up gaps and cracks, consider using natural scents to discourage them from hanging around. By using this two-step approach, you can discourage any bugs from entering your structures in the future.
For more information on what scents you can use, give our guide on the 9 Scents That Ladybugs Hate (And How To Use Them) a read!
Do Ladybugs Snooze During the Day?
Not if they can help it! A cold-blooded insect, ladybugs sleep at night when they do not have the sun to heat them up.
After awakening in the morning, these bright predators will hang out, soaking up rays until they are warm enough to fly away and search for their breakfast. During the day, ladybugs are too busy trying to find food or reproduce to take a catnap.
Chilly Weather May Prompt Ladybugs To Sleep During The Day
The only exception to this rule is if cold weather appears out of season (like a sudden chilly day in the middle of summer). Ladybugs may take a quick nap until the sun comes out again. They do this to conserve energy when they do not have an external source to keep them warmed up.
Ladybugs Do Not Truly Sleep
Ladybugs do not truly “sleep” at all like humans or other mammals do. Rather, they enter a mini-hibernation mode known as “torpor”. The ladybug will tuck their legs and head to protect themselves and then become unresponsive for a few hours.
This state prevents them from expending extra energy and using up precious calories until they can find food again. It can last just a short while or even several hours if the temperatures stay cool during the day.
Interested in providing ladybugs a safe place to sleep and hang out in your garden? You can have your very own ladybug house with the Navaris Wooden Ladybug Habitat or the Navaris Wood Triangle Insect Hotel. Either would make a great, all-natural, and beautiful addition to your yard, which ladybugs will love to hibernate in.
This can even help prevent them from hibernating in your home!
Where Ladybugs Are Most Likely To Nest In The Daytime
Underside Of Leaves
Unlike mammals or other types of bugs, ladybugs do not make true nests, meaning they will not gather materials to build an area to sleep or hide their young. Instead, ladybugs will lay eggs on the underside of leaves. Larvae will then emerge from the eggs and feast on any aphids nearby.
Ladybugs particularly like marigolds to hang around in, so plant these if you would like to attract them to your garden.
Under Rotting Logs, Rocks, And Vegetation
Ladybugs will try to find a safe place to hibernate, where they can hide from predators like larger insects or birds. They may try to burrow under rotting logs, rocks, or piles of vegetation.
Ladybugs may also find a protected area in firewood piles or holes in bricks and stone.
Inside Your Home
Ladybugs have even been known to try to enter people’s homes in the fall and winter months because a house makes for a pretty great place for them to hibernate!
The insects will enter prior to the start of cold weather and then head out again when it warms up in the spring to hunt again. When they leave depends on the local climate and weather patterns.
If you find a ladybug inside, take a peek at our guide on whether or not you should put ladybugs outside. It can help you decide if putting it outside is the best thing you can do.
Anywhere That Provides Protection From Predators
Although it may seem like ladybugs suddenly start appearing each day, in reality, they are probably sleeping all around you whenever you step outside at night!
Ladybugs will nap in cold weather or sleep at night anywhere they can find a safe spot from predators. This may be on leaves and plants or many other surfaces out of sight.
How Long Will Ladybugs Actually Stay in Your Garden?
Ladybugs will continue to make their home in your garden for their lifespan or until it is time to hibernate during the cold months of winter. If they emerge again in the spring, they will lay eggs, and the cycle of ladybugs will continue! Ladybugs live one to three years, and in this time will lay about 1,000 eggs.
That’s a lot of little ladybugs around your home!
With Food, Water, And Shelter, Ladybugs Will Stick Around
As long as ladybugs can find the things they need (like a safe place to lay eggs, somewhere to sleep, and a consistent food source), they will have no reason to leave your garden, yard, or other spaces.
If you want to discourage ladybugs from hanging around, you will need to make sure they do not have their basic needs met. If you can do this, they will quickly take off in search of greener pastures (or gardens.)
If you want more ladybugs near your plants, take a look at our guide on the 4 ways to attract ladybugs to your garden
Ladybugs Can Live Up To 3 Years
Most species of ladybug live one to two years, but some may live up to three. That’s anywhere from 365 to 1,095 days, which is a lot for any tiny beetle!
Their lifespan depends on a lot of factors:
- Predators: If there is a high volume of ladybug predators, this will shorten a ladybug’s lifespan. Birds, frogs, wasps, dragonflies, and spiders will all consume ladybugs.
- No food: If they have limited food sources, this can also affect their longevity.
- Disturbance: If something or someone disturbs them during hibernation, or they cannot find a safe place to hole up for the winter, it may limit their lifespan as well.
How Do I Keep Ladybugs Out?
If you are tired of having ladybugs inside your home, the first thing to do is to figure out why they are coming inside in the first place! These pests will often enter homes during cool fall weather to find a safe place to hibernate before winter sets in.
Ladybugs will crawl, scuttle, and fly through even the smallest of gaps and cracks in your home’s exterior and find somewhere dark and protected once inside to sleep away the cold months. You can read more about the things that attract ladybugs to your home so you can eliminate any obvious attractants.
Here are the most common places where ladybugs might enter your home:
|Ladybugs may enter through open or cracked windows
|Small gaps around doors provide access for ladybugs
|Ladybugs can enter through vents or exhaust fans
|Gaps or cracks in the siding allow entry for ladybugs
|Small openings around utility lines serve as entry points
Seal All Entry Points
The first step in launching a ladybug defense is to seal your home against critters large and small. Use caulking like Gorilla Waterproof Caulk & Seal to fill gaps around doors and windows, chimneys, and piping. Expanding foam is another great tool to keep these tiny pests out of your home. Try using Loctite Tite Foam Gaps & Cracks Spray Foam Sealant for this method!
Ensure any vents are covered appropriately. Inspect areas along baseboards and trim to ensure there are no gaps (even tiny ones).
In addition to sealing your home, you can also spread diatomaceous earth to take care of any bugs that are already inside. Safer Home Diatomaceous Earth is an excellent product for deterring ladybugs!
Simply sprinkle it on the floor in basements, crawlspaces, closets, or anywhere else you notice crawling pests. Then, use natural scents to help make your home the last place bugs want to hang out this winter.
Eliminate Food Sources
If you are trying to keep ladybugs out of your garden, you will want to eliminate any potential sources of food. Inspect your plants for aphid or mite infestations and use neem oil or diatomaceous earth to eliminate any resident populations. Then, plant lots of flowers ladybugs hate (like mums).
With a plan for your indoor and outdoor spaces, you can rest easy knowing your home is completely protected from ladybugs and any other pests.
Professional Pest Control
When ladybugs invade your home by the hundreds, it may be time to contact a local pest control specialist. They can evaluate your home and identify where ladybugs are getting inside. Pest pros can also suggest ways to keep them out for good!
Use our nationwide pest control finder to connect with a local professional.
Should I Release Ladybugs in My Garden?
Ladybugs are a great natural option to take care of small pests in your garden that may be causing damage to leaves, flowers, and stalks. These pests may include spider mites, aphids, and other insects. Ladybugs will lay their eggs and sleep near easy sources of food, helping to quickly eliminate any infestations you may have.
Releasing Live Ladybugs
Ladybugs can be easily (and safely) purchased online. Try these Gardner Time Live Ladybugs, which are guaranteed to arrive safe and sound to your home. Or, if you have a big aphid problem, check out these BuddyBugs 1500 Live Ladybugs.
There are a few things you want to consider prior to releasing ladybugs. They should be set free in the spring or summer months into gardens and yards with plenty of food for your new pals.
In areas with colder weather in the summer, make sure it is at least 55 degrees before you set them loose. This will ensure ladybugs can warm up and find the food and shelter they need without immediately needing a nap.
One more tip: Release ladybugs in the early evening to encourage them to stay close to your yard. If you set your ladybugs free in the heat of the day, you risk them flying far away, wasting both your time and money. In the evening, ladybugs will be a little less active and may look for close food sources or safe places to sleep instead of leaving.
Storing Live Ladybugs
If you cannot release your ladybugs right when you get them due to weather or other circumstances, check your product’s packaging. Many live ladybugs can be stored in the fridge at specific temperatures for several weeks before release.
Just like in winter, the ladybugs will enter a state of hibernation, conserving their energy and sleeping until you are ready to set them to their task.
Pros And Cons of Having Ladybugs Around Your Home
Pros Of Having Ladybugs
Ladybugs are not always considered pests. There are some serious benefits to having these critters in your yard and garden!
Some pros to having ladybugs around your home are:
- Eliminates Garden Pests: No more aphid problems! Ladybugs like to feast on aphids and other small pests
- Aesthetics: Ladybugs add a splash of color and life to your garden
- No Risk Of Damage: These insects will not do damage to your walls or home like other pests can
Cons of Having Ladybugs Around Your Home
Despite the benefits, ladybugs may not always be welcome around your home. These little critters may find their way inside searching for a good place to hibernate, or they may enter gaps and cracks in search of an easy food source.
The cons to having ladybugs hanging around:
- They may hibernate and nest in your home
- Ladybugs can lay unsightly eggs on your flowers and other plants
- Certain types of ladybugs can cause allergic reactions
- Asian ladybugs can release unpleasant smells and stain surfaces in homes.
Wrapping Things Up
Ladybugs are daytime dwellers who sleep at night and use the sun to warm their bodies during the day. Once they have woken up and are ready to fly, they can be found eating other pests, preparing to hibernate, or laying eggs. Ladybugs like to hide out in protected, dark areas like woodpiles, under logs, or in vegetation.
Although you may love ladybugs for their aphid-eating abilities, there are plenty of reasons to discourage them from coming inside. This is why it is so important to properly pest-proof your home to discourage harmful insects from hanging around.
Ladybugs are usually more beneficial to have around and are not considered pests. Give them plenty of vegetation to hang out on, and you’ll see a reduction in pests and a lovely splash of color in your yard and garden!
Cheng, Y., Zhi, J., Li, F., Wang, H., Zhou, Y., & Jin, J. (2020). Transcriptome sequencing of Coccinella septempunctata adults (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) feeding on artificial diet and Aphis craccivora. PloS one, 15(8), e0236249.
Goetz, David W Seasonal inhalant insect allergy: Harmonia axyridis ladybug, Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology: August 2009 – Volume 9 – Issue 4 – p 329-333 doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e32832d5173
Ryan, S. M., & Acorn, J. H. (1999). Overwintering survival of the seven-spot ladybug (Coccinella septempunctata) in Edmonton. Blue Jay, 57(2).
Sarwar, M. (2016). Food habits or preferences and protecting or encouraging of native ladybugs (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). International Journal of Zoology Studies, 1(3), 13-18.
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