Ladybugs are a common sight in gardens and yards, but do you know what they eat? Well as it turns out, most ladybugs are “insectivores” which means they mainly eat other insects like aphids or larvae.
However, there are some species of ladybugs that are actually omnivorous and will eat a variety of things, including plants, pollen, sap, and insects.
But, one question that people often ask is whether or not these ladybugs eat grass. The short answer is yes, there are certain types of ladybugs that eat blades of grass and other plant material.
However, this is a very small number of ladybugs, and those that do, are typically found in areas where there are not a lot of insects for them to feed on.
Types Of Ladybugs That Eat Grass?
So at this point, you properly wondering which types of ladybugs eat plants. Well, your be surprised to learn that only two species of ladybugs are known to eat lefty greens.
The Mexican Bean Beetle: This vibrant species has a distinctively recognizable wing pattern featuring eight black dots arranged along an orange backdrop.
Although they are not picky eaters, their diet consists mainly of bean and soybean plants and occasionally grass!
Their larvae have unique spike-like projections emanating off their orange-yellow bodies.
These features make them a recognizable species to many bug collectors and gardeners alike, and their penchant for plants makes them quite a nuisance should large numbers of them decide to invade your patch of greenery.
The Squash Beetle: looks very similar to your average ladybug, but instead of red, they have a yellow body and it’s wings are each adorned with seven black dots.
Their unique colour and marking makes them easily recognizable by most gardeners.
The larvae are also noticeably different due to their yellowish-orange coloring and spiky appearance!
Although they appear similar to Mexican bean beetles in terms of markings, they tend to be slightly larger in size. All in all, if you’ve seen ladybugs in your garden or yard then chances are they’re either eating the grass or other plants.
If you do come across any of the two species then there’s a high chance that they may be consuming some of your plants and not just your grass.
Do They Prefer To Eat Grass Or Leaves?
Given their diet preferences, it is likely that these species would prefer to consume leaves over grass. This is due to the fact that leaves are a much more nutrient-rich food source than grass blades which tend to be quite dry and lack nutrients.
These beetles can be found feasting a variety of beans and legumes, including:
- Common bean
- Thicket bean
- Lima bean
- Mung bean
Some of the adults have even been observed consuming fruits and flowers – although their preference generally leans towards the leaves of host plants.
This behavior is often observed in areas where there is a high population of these insects as they will feed off the tender new growth of plants rather than mature foliage.
Therefore, it’s unlikely that these species would be found munching away on grass blades unless they were desperate for food or could not find any other suitable plant material to consume.
Can These Ladybugs Live On A Diet Of Grass Only?
Ladybugs are incredibly versatile insects and can survive in different types of environments. While it is possible for them to live off a diet of grass, it is not ideal since the nutrient content found in grass is quite low.
This means that the ladybugs will not receive adequate nourishment if they rely solely on grass as their sole food source.
The Mexican Bean Beetle and Squash Beetle require more nutritious sources! However, as mentioned before, they may resort to eating grass blades when there are no other options available.
Although it isn’t common or highly recommended, it is possible for ladybugs to subsist on a diet of grass “but” only for a certain amount of time!
For them to survive and thrive they must find alternative food sources that are more nutrient-rich in order to meet their dietary needs.
Are Ladybugs A Benefit To Your Garden?
The short answer is yes! Ladybugs are beneficial to your garden as they help control insect pests that feed on plants.
In fact, Ladybugs are a gardener’s best friend and are known to feast on some of the most destructive insect pests that can ruin and kill off your plants.
Insects such as aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, and other small pests are known to wreak havoc on your garden plants and are some of the favorite meals for these ladybugs.
If you notice a large group of ladybugs on your plants “usually around the stem of the leaves”, it’s a good sign that your garden may have some of these tiny insects consuming your plants.
However, always take a closer look at the species before you make a decision! If it’s one of the two species mentioned above you may have to remove them before they start causing damage to your plants.
But of course, if it’s your average ladybug then instead of trying to get rid of them it’s probably best to leave them be and let nature take its course!
In time, these ladybugs will help reduce the number of pests in your garden and protect your plants from future infestations!
They Are Also Excellent Pollinators
Ladybugs really are amazing insects and they really do deserve far more appreciation than they get, particularly for their excellent pollination skills!
A lot of people don’t know this “but” As beetles, ladybugs naturally collect pollen whenever they fly from flower to flower.
As a result, this behavior inevitably helps plants reproduce and produces the foods we eat on a daily basis.
Not only that, but the range at which ladybugs fly means they can cover a large area of land, and many flowers can benefit from this.
While there are certain types of ladybugs that eat foliage such as grass blades and other plant material, this behavior is relatively uncommon and only observed in areas where there is not much insect prey available.
Therefore, it is unlikely that your garden or yard will be overrun by these beetles anytime soon! But if they do it makes more sense to leave them be as they can be more of a benefit than a negative.