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Lady Bugs

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The term ladybug brings to mind a female insect. Why shouldn’t it? The name has the world lady in it. It would only be natural to assume that one was referring to a female bug when referring to the ladybug. Well, this is not entirely the case at all. As you likely already know, these bugs can consist of both male and female sexes. Why does this matter and is it important?

While this might be the case, both sexes remain the same in a lot of ways. Sure, the female is going to be the reproducer of the bunch, but other than this, the bugs are more alike than most would imagine. Looking at the bug with the naked eye would reveal little to no differing characteristics.

However, compare the two under a microscope and things get vividly different.

The Spots On The Bugs

With the above in mind, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding the ladybug. One of the more well-known being that the spots and color of the spots on the bugs have to do with gender. This is not the case at all. The number, shape, size, and location of the spots on the bugs have nothing at all to do with the gender of the bug. The spots are a genetic makeup but act more as a defense mechanism for the insect. Both genders can use these coloring characteristics to survive in the insect world.

While there are tons of interesting studies regarding the ladybug and the spots of its bodies, you only need to know that the number, shape, and color of the spots can vary from species to species. The species cannot be predicted by the number of spots. Neither can the sex. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of male and female bugs that end up with the same number of spots, color, shape, and size. This is assuming, of course, they hail from the same species.

Determining The Sex Of The Bug

Ladybugs share more similarities than they do differences. This is just one of the many reasons it is so hard to determine the sex by just looking at them. Of course, the prime time to determine the sex would be when they are actually mating. This aside, the female of the species does tend to be a bit larger in size as compared to the males. They also have a bit longer antenna. Getting the bugs under a microscope could help as help. Here are some things that separate the males from the females.

Males have more hair on their undersides

Males appear with more prominent bands between the body segments

They usually have small notches on the segments

The abdominal of the male is more shaped like a concave

The head along with the lips are a bit lighter in color for the males

Females have a posterior segment that is more rounded

The female abdomen is smoother

The female’s abdominal section is more in a convex shape

Why Ladybugs Can Be A Problem

It is no doubt true that all this is fascinating. However, these beautiful multi-colored beauties pose more of a threat in the home than most people realize. They have been known on rare occasions to bite humans, but they pose the biggest threat to your houseplants. Aside from wreaking havoc on your houseplants, they’ll also leave behind stains and smells. The ladybug can secrete a yellow toxin from its knees that can destroy delicate fabrics.

Some people are highly allergic to the scents they emit. Either way, you do not want a whole slew of these critters flying around the home, leaving stains, and smelling it up. Especially not if you are allergic to the scents. Therefore, it is best to get our office on the phone at the first sighting in the home. We’ll get a trained pro out immediately to do a full scan of the property.

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