Lady beetle season is an annual cold-weather event that occurs in many places across North America, including Oakland, California‘s Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park. As 510 Families explains, “the ladybugs congregate on the plants (and fence posts!)” along the park trails.
“Pro tip from the Naturalists at East Bay Regional Parks: Ladybeetles should not be handled or collected — unless you want to move one that’s fallen on the path and might be otherwise squished.”
Lady beetle swarming typically occurs during late autumn, winter, and early spring as they ready themselves for mating and seek appropriate spots for egg-laying. They emit pheromones to attract fellow lady beetles, forming aggregations that provide meeting points, offer protection against predators like birds and other insects, help regulate body temperatures, and facilitate resource sharing in areas with abundant food.
Ladybugs, also known as ladybird beetles or lady beetles to distinguish them from actual bugs, are considered beneficial insects that are crucial in controlling aphids and other pests in gardens and agricultural fields. According to National Geographic Kids, “one ladybug can eat up to 5,000 insects in its lifetime.”
Enjoy more lady beetles and swarms, including:
• From Goth to Glam: A ladybug’s life cycle up-close
• Ladybug, from an egg to first flight
• Do ladybugs smell like fear?
• Slow-mo ladybugs look like they can’t fly before they do