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What Is the State Insect of Delaware? How Was It Decided?


While many people who visit Delaware know that the state flower is the peach blossom and the state bird is the famous Delaware blue hen, few know that the state insect is the ladybug. If this surprises you, keep reading to find out when and why it got this prestigious title.

garden flower divider

When Did the Ladybug Become the State Insect of Delaware?

The ladybug became the state insect of Delaware on April 25, 1974, which is fairly recent compared to the Delaware Blue Hen, which became the state bird in 1939.

spotted ladybugs on plant
Image By: sunakri, Shutterstock

Why Did the People of Delaware Choose the Ladybug as a State Insect?

According to the Delaware Code Title 29, Section 309, Delaware legislators designated the ladybug the state insect after students in the Milford High School district noticed that they didn’t have one. Since many other states had assigned a state insect to accompany the state flag, bird, and flower, the children and their teacher recommended the ladybug. Lawmakers agreed that it was emblematic and fitting enough to accompany the other official symbols.

What Is the Ladybug?

A ladybug is a small round beetle with a bright red color and small black spots on each wing. They help farmers control pests and are particularly effective against aphids.

Ladybug in leaf
Image By: xanatos1000, Pixabay

Other Interesting Ladybug Facts

  • Ladybugs typically live for about 4 weeks.
  • Ladybugs can eat 50–60 plant-killing aphids daily and may eat as many as 5,000 in their lifetime.
  • You will usually start seeing ladybugs when the temperature gets above 59 degrees Fahrenheit, as they hibernate when the temperature is below that.
  • There are 400 kinds of ladybugs in North America and several thousand worldwide.
  • Ladybugs chew side to side, while humans chew up and down.
ladybug on sunflower
Image Credit: yimphoto, Shutterstock

Have There Been Other New Additions to the Delaware State Symbol List?

  • The grey fox became the state animal in 2010 and pays homage to the state’s wildlife heritage.
  • Strawberries became the state fruit of Delaware in 2010.
  • The golden retriever became the state dog of Delaware in 2016.
  • Peach pie became the Delaware state dessert in 2009.

Is Delaware the Only State With the Ladybug as Its State Insect?

No. The ladybug is also the official state insect of Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, North Dakota, and New Hampshire.

Closeup photo of ladybug on leaf
Image Credit: Pixabay, Pixabay

Where Do Ladybugs Live?

Ladybugs are versatile and hardy insects that can live in many different environments, including forests, fields, and backyard gardens.

Do Ladybugs Eat Plants?

While some species eat plants, most feast on other insects that can harm fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Their diet primarily consists of aphids, mites, and scale insects, making them helpful to large farms and backyard gardens.

garden flower divider Summary

The ladybug is a relatively new addition to the list of Delaware state symbols, becoming a state insect on April 25, 1974. It was finally appointed after students noticed that Delaware didn’t have a state insect while many other states did. Lawmakers also recognized its benefit to the local farmers and appreciated its emblematic coloring and pattern.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Myriams-Fotos, Pixabay


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