Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home....

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty West CalBRE #01458572

When I was growing up, my mom's gardens were full of butterflies and ladybugs.

Not until many years later did I understand that it's easy to get certain wildlife to visit your gardens simply by growing the plants that they like.

At the property I was previewing today, it seemed that there were millions of ladybugs.

Here are some of what I came home with:

Ladybug in San Diego

Ladybugs in San Diego

Ladybugs in San Diego

Ladybug in San Diego

Ladybugs in San Diego

Ladybugs in San Diego

Look at those last two pictures. How many ladybugs do you see? If you answered two and five, you're correct! Those ugly bugs you see there are simply the pupal stages of ladybugs. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of ladybug pupae and larvae all over the property.

Interesting facts about ladybugs:

  1. They are actually beetles, not bugs. Bugs, beetles, they both start with B.
  2. They are in the Coccinellidae family, which has over 5,000 species, 450 just in the United States.
  3. They are beneficial insects, so if you see them in your garden, be happy!
  4. The Mall of America releases thousands of ladybugs each Spring inside the mall as natural pest control for its indoor gardens.
  5. It is a myth that the number of spots on its back indicates its age.
  6. While many critters in nature use camouflage for protection, the ladybug opts for the opposite in wanting to be noticed. This is called aposematism. Predators learn that certain phenotypes are associated with bad taste, or worse.
  7. Ladybugs can spray a toxin that is venomous to some mammals and other insects.
  8. Ladybugs are extremely sensitive to synthetic insecticides.
  9. Plants known to attract ladybugs include mustard plants, buckwheat, cilantro, red or crimson clover, vetches, bronze fennel, dill, cilantro, caraway, angelica, tansy, yarrow, coreopsis, cosmos (especially the white ones), dandelions, and scented geraniums.
  10. The ladybug is the state insect of Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Interestingly, here is the "garden" where I found the ladybugs, and "garden" is a term I use very loosely in this instance:

Ladybug garden

If that's the type of San Diego garden that attracts ladybugs, well, I'm just going to have to make do without them.

Remember the nursery rhyme, Ladybug, Ladybug? I had no idea there were so many different versions, but here is the version I learned as a child:

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home.
Your house is on fire;
Your children all roam.
Except little Nan
Who sits in her pan
Weaving her laces as fast as she can.

Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home....

Call Russel Ray for all your marketing & business needs.


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Susan Brown
Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too) - Kingwood, TX

Russel, I've never see ladybugs in the pupal stage and wouldn't have had any idea that bug would turn out to be so cute!  I see that you have Zoey at work - making copies (like they used to say on Saturday Night Live a gazillion years ago).

Apr 03, 2010 11:58 AM #1
Tony & Darcy Cannon
Aubrey and Associates Realty - Layton, UT
The C Team

Russel, great information on lady bugs!  

Apr 03, 2010 12:10 PM #2
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Russel - I like your photos a lot.  I've always loved ladybugs, and used to feel that they brought luck if one landed on you.  When I was a kid, that would make my day.  A couple of days ago, I was sitting at dinner in my home when a ladybug landed right on the back of my hand.  Who knows how it got in the house (might have been carried in by one of the cats), but I carefully carried it out to the back yard and left him on the geraniums.  It felt like a magical moment and brought back memories of childhood.

Apr 03, 2010 12:47 PM #3
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Russel ~ Those photos are amazing! I love ladybugs though they do flip me out a little when they're indoors and dive bombing my kitchen light fixture.


Apr 03, 2010 01:04 PM #4
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

Russel, Ladybugs take care of sap sucking aphids on plants and flowers in the garden, the more, the better!

Apr 03, 2010 01:28 PM #5
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

That's kind of odd that you haven't seen any ladybugs until recently.  I don't see many either, but lately have too!  I have been finding them on the old veggie garden plants, and maybe they are coming for the aphids which are gaining a foothold.

Apr 03, 2010 01:38 PM #6
Sara Woolford & Steve Golson, ALHS
iTexas Realty Co. - San Antonio, TX

Hi Russel-

That's not a garden - it's a habitat!  They are great pest control.  I love gardening things.  Steve just bought some molasses today so that he could spray it on our lawn.  The nematodes just LOVE it!

--Sara in San Antonio

Apr 03, 2010 01:40 PM #7
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Russel -- those are great photos of the lady bugs.  We have lots of them in New Hampshire.  Often when I show homes, they get trapped inside and there will be hundreds of them near the windows.  They are said to bring good luck!  I hope that they are right...

Apr 03, 2010 01:51 PM #8
Marcie Sandalow
Marcie Sandalow, Compass 301.758.4894 - Bethesda, MD
Bethesda Chevy Chase DC real estate

Russel- lovely photos.  I guess I take them for granted.  Can't recall when I saw my last one, but I'll sure remember you when I see the next! 

Apr 03, 2010 02:02 PM #9
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Those are nifty looking Lady Bugs Russel.  I would not have guessed that Southern California had a shortage of them. . .In fact, I can't imagine Southern California having a shortage of anything:-)

Apr 03, 2010 03:47 PM #10
Gary Swanson
Century 21 Harris & Taylor - Grants Pass, OR

Amazing photos Russel.  We love to see ladybugs in our yard, since it means they're probably eating thosy pesky aphids.

Apr 03, 2010 05:04 PM #11
Tiffany Torgan
Harcourts Prestige Properties of La Jolla - La Jolla, CA
Featured on HGTV's New Show! How Close Can I Beach

Thank you so much for the lovely pictures! I love the lady bugs and thanks for the post!

Apr 03, 2010 06:02 PM #12
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Ladybugs outside...fine...inside...eww...for the last few years...some brand of these critters has descended on the area and frequently find they are sucked into the central vac....we'll bring you some if you like..

Apr 03, 2010 11:02 PM #13
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Russel, those are great photos! We are inundated at the house with ladybugs already. My daughter has freaked out and duct taped the windows. There were hundreds in her bedroom the other day. I wish they would get off my house and get in the gardens, LOL.

Apr 03, 2010 11:16 PM #14
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

On the golf course... it is good luck if a ladybug lands on you!   Watch out for those quakes!  We felt them here too!  Kathy



Apr 05, 2010 04:54 PM #17
Gerry Khatchikian
Red Lodge, MT


Those are great close-up pictures of the ladybugs.   They will bring good luck to you and all the ones who visit this post.   :)

Apr 06, 2010 07:15 AM #18
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Russel, great photos...I just visited my house in Illinois and there were literally hundrends of them on the outside and the inside of my house...they may be cute and an asset in the garden, but I've had about all I can take of them in my house...I guess part of the problem is the house being vacant much of the time.

Apr 06, 2010 03:14 PM #19
Ted Tyndall
Davidson Realty Inc. - Saint Augustine, FL
FL Homes for Sale-Palencia, World Golf Village,Nocatee,St. Augustine

Russel, thats the first time I have seen the pupil stage of a Lady Bug. great close ups.

Apr 14, 2010 04:54 AM #20
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Cool shots Russel.

Apr 17, 2010 09:07 AM #21
Russel Ray, San Diego Business & Marketing Consultant & Photographer
Russel Ray - San Diego State University, CA

Hey, Folks!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Since I'm rather late getting back to my own blog post to read all the comments, I'll forego responding to each and every comment and just let everyone know that I'll be by to read your blog and leave a few comments here and there, if I haven't been already. Be sure to have lots of good stuff for me to read! If any specific comments have questions that need answers, or any other needed response, I'll make those below this comment.

Meanwhile, hope everyone has a great June, and best wishes for health, happiness, peace, and prosperity.

Jun 01, 2010 03:58 PM #24
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Jim Frimmer

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