Help Save the Ladybugs!

Beyond being cute bugs, lady beetles (aka ladybugs or ladybirds) are incredibly helpful creatures, as many gardeners can testify. They protect crops by eating certain types of pests, and their presence reduces the need for insecticides.

Unfortunately, these gardeners’ best friends started rapidly declining in the 1970′s and ’80s according to researchers, and today some native species of North America are on the brink of extinction.

So where did all the ladybugs go?

The Lost Ladybug Project is looking into this question. The project, which began in 2000 after Cornell scientists partnered with 4-H master gardeners, is trying to find out where native types of ladybugs are living today and why so many have disappeared. An invasive beetle species imported from Europe and Asia is one possible culprit.

The Lost Ladybug Project has an unconventional research team. Over 50 percent of the participants in the project are under the age of 14, according to USA Today. And two key discoveries were made by 11-year old, Jilene, and 10 year-old, Jonathan back in 2006.

Approaching their goals with a “citizen’s science” model, leaders of The Lost Ladybug Project are encouraging anyone and everyone to help locate ladybugs: “Find ‘em, photograph ‘em, and send ‘em,” they ask. John Losey, co-founder of the project, firmly believes that “citizen science is the best way to educate and enthuse volunteers about the process of science and the best way to shed light on major environmental problems,” according to the group’s website.

The project is specifically working to find and preserve three species: the nine-spotted or C9s, the transverse and the two-spotted.

Check out for all kinds of interesting information about ladybugs. The site includes lesson plans, games, coloring books, and even a song–all focused on teaching kids to appreciate ladybugs and to participate in preserving the species.

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Monarch Butterflies Under Siege
10 Most Threatened Animal Species


Past Member
Past Member 10 months ago


Marigold A
Past Member 11 months ago

They've become a pervasive pest in some northern areas of the U.S.....

W. C
W. Cabout a year ago


William C
William Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

Loesje vB
Loesje Najoan4 years ago

I see a lot of ladybugs and some bees in my garden. I agree plant & protect trees for life.............

Elisa F.
Elisa F4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Sabine H.
Hahn H4 years ago

Thanks for sharing!

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra5 years ago

Thank you Megan, for Sharing this!

Dale Overall

Hopefully the native ladybugs can survive the invasion and weather the storm of the invasive species of ladybugs.

This is a fascinating and delightful insect and would hope that native species in Ontario and elsewhere are strong enough to survive.

Isabel C.
Isabel C8 years ago

England - June 26 2010
(from Coventry Telegraph)

Invasive Harlequiin Ladybirds are being attacked by native parasitic wasps and flies, scientists said today, as they urged members of the public to help them investigate the phenomenon.

The Harlequin Ladybirds from Asia, which were introduced in continental Europe to control pest insects on crops and have since spread to the UK on fruit and flowers and by being blown across the Channel, have become a comon sight in the past decade.

Scientists have warned their arrival in the UK is likely to threaten more than 1,000 native species.

The bug is a "voracious" predator, which preys on a wide variety of insects, including the larvae of other ladybirds, caterpillars and even fruit, and out-competes native species.

But now it appears nature is fighting back, with tiny native wasps and flies which commonly lay their eggs in native ladybirds - causing death to the host - now attacking the Harlequins.