The short answer to this question is yes, it is safe to eat ladybugs “but” the real question is… would you really want to? Ladybugs are known to be sources of food for birds, lizards, frogs, and other animals but for us humans it’s a no!
With that said, you may have heard that some cultures around the world used ladybugs as an ingredient in recipes right? Well, it’s safe to say, these are not real ladybugs only sculptured cakes or desserts to make them stand out and look pretty.
But, what if you or someone you know has accidentally eaten a ladybug from the garden? should you be concerned?
No! the good news is there’s no need to panic! Ladybugs do contain small amounts of protein and other nutrients, so they do offer some nutritional benefits! “you wouldn’t really get any benefits from eating just one” but it’s safe to say, it’s not life-threatening if you do!
Disclaimer: Before we continue all the information in this article is based on research from animals or “on the theory” that a ladybug was accidentally eaten by a human! We don’t condone cruelty nor do we recommend you purposely eat one!
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Ladybugs?
To a human, ladybugs (Coccinellidae) wouldn’t really offer much in the way of nutritional value.
However, for animals like birds and lizards, ladybugs can provide them with a valuable source of nutrition as they contain more than 20% protein with some trace amounts of minerals like calcium and magnesium.
If you are considering eating a ladybug “for whatever reason” there are much more nutritious alternatives available so it’s best to stick with those foods instead. They will have much more flavor and nutrient content than ladybugs!
What Do They Taste Like?
From the research, we have collected our best guess is ladybugs would have a mild and slightly bland earthy taste.
While it’s not particularly unpleasant, eating ladybugs is definitely an acquired taste and not something that many people would seek to enjoy. They would also be quite difficult to eat in large quantities due to their crunchy exterior.
It basically comes down to personal preference. Some people may not be bothered by the taste, while others may find it not good at all.
Can Too Many Ladybugs Be Toxic To Eat?
If you were to eat a ladybug, it is not likely to be toxic or harmful. Ladybugs are not known for containing any kind of toxins and they have no poisonous properties.
However, depending on how strong your stomach is, if you were to eat large amounts of ladybugs then it may cause some digestive discomfort like vomiting, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal symptoms.
If you have an allergy to insects in general then you should avoid eating a ladybug as an allergic reaction could occur when consuming them.
But, this is very unlikely as ladybugs are not something that is typically eaten in large amounts.
Should You Let Your Dog Eat Ladybugs?
While dogs typically don’t go out of their way to eat ladybugs, it’s not entirely unheard of. If there’s a large group or swarm of these insects, a curious pup may decide to take a taste.
In most cases, this isn’t a cause for concern and they are not poisonous so they won’t make your dog sick.
However, if your dog ingests a large number of ladybugs, they may experience an upset stomach or diarrhea.
If you think your dog has eaten a ladybug (or multiple ladybugs), keep an eye on them for any signs of illness.
Take Note: If your dog seems to be in pain or having difficulty breathing, after eating ladybugs contact your veterinarian immediately.
What Happens If My Cat Eats Ladybugs
Just like with dogs, cats can also ingest ladybugs while exploring their environment. They often like to explore their surroundings by tasting things with their mouths.
This can sometimes lead to them ingesting things that they shouldn’t, such as ladybugs. While ladybugs are not harmful to cats, they can cause stomach upset.
However, most cats won’t actually eat the ladybug and will just bat it around or let it go on its way.
Cats typically prefer to go after bigger prey like birds or mice, so ladybugs are usually safe from their voracious appetites.
Are There Any Insects That Eat Ladybugs?
While ladybugs are often seen as harmless and even cute, it turns out that they are actually a favorite food for many predators.
Dragonflies, for example, are known to target ladybugs in mid-air, snatching them out of the sky before they can escape.
Birds also enjoy a ladybug feast, and even spiders often wrap them up and store them away for later.
While there are many creatures that would love to make a meal out of a ladybug, they are actually quite beneficial to have around.
In fact, ladybugs help to control pests by eating aphids and other small insects! As a result, it’s important to protect ladybugs from their predators so that they can continue to play their vital role in the environment.
So there you have it! Ladybugs are not typically eaten by humans, as they don’t offer much in terms of nutritional value.
Of course, you can eat them without any major health risks, but their taste may not be for everyone.
The bottom line is it’s probably better to leave ladybugs alone and let them do their thing and eat something that is high in nutritional value and more typically eaten in large amounts.