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Are Ladybugs Poisonous? Signs, Facts, & FAQ

ladybug on the grass

It is quite rare to find someone who dislikes ladybirds. Many people can’t help but “ooh” and “aah” in admiration when they come across these beautiful insects. But are ladybugs poisonous? Well, you’d be happy to know that these pretty insects aren’t poisonous, at least to humans.

However, they may have some harmful effects on individuals who are allergic to them. Stick around to learn more.

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Do Ladybugs Bite?

Lady bug on hand
Image By: GLady, Pixabay

Most of us worry about whether a particular animal is poisonous because most of them bite as a defense mechanism. So, do ladybugs bite? Let’s begin by looking at whether they can bite.

Like many other insects, ladybirds have mandibles, which are mouthparts that they use to grasp, crush, or cut their food. So, since they have mandibles, yes, ladybugs can bite. But not to worry since their bites aren’t painful, and you can barely feel it if one bites you. Ladybirds also don’t have poisonous saliva, so their bites aren’t harmful.

Since ladybugs can bite, do they actually bite as a defense mechanism? They do, but it is not the first thing they do if provoked or threatened by a predator. Their main defense weapon is the color of their bodies. The bright colors and attractive spots they are well-known for are an indication to their predators that they are not tasty.

Another major defense mechanism ladybugs use is “playing dead.” Usually, most ladybirds play dead when they are provoked. They also release a foul odor if they feel threatened.

Are Ladybugs Poisonous to Humans?

As mentioned, ladybugs don’t have poisonous saliva. They also don’t carry any diseases, so they cannot transmit anything if they bite. However, there are ladybird species that have been proven to invoke allergic reactions in some people if they come into contact with them.

The most common one is the Asian ladybeetle, scientifically known as Harmonia axyridis. Several cases of allergic reactions (IgE hypersensitivity) to this particular ladybird species have been reported.

Some of the major symptoms of this allergic reaction include asthma signs and symptoms (breathing complications, congested nose, and chest), urticaria (a type of rash caused by an allergic reaction), angioedema, and rhinoconjunctivitis.

Are Ladybugs Poisonous to Pets?

Image By: pixabay, Pexels

No, ladybugs aren’t poisonous to pets. However, they may have some negative impacts, especially on dogs, if they ingest a ton of them, but these effects are very rare.

Some of them include:

  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Drooling
  • Inability to excrete due to the ladybird’s hard outer shells

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While ladybirds are not poisonous, they can be a nuisance when they swarm your house. Typically, ladybugs look for warm places to hibernate in during the winter season, and your cozy home is an attractive spot for them. Asian ladybeetles are the most common species that often invade people’s homes.

The good news is there are many ways to get rid of them. You can also call a professional to help eliminate them from your home.

Featured Image Credit: JumpStory


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