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According to a 10th century legend, a man convicted of murder while claiming his innocence was spared by his executioner's ax thanks to the presence of a ladybug resting on his neck.
The executioner tried to drive her away several times without success.
The then king (Robert II) saw it as divine intervention and decided to pardon the man.
A few days later, the culprit was found. Since then, the ladybug has been called “the beast for the good of God”, considered a lucky charm.
- To read: the ladybug, a gardener's helper
It belongs to the family of beetles which have the particularity of having elytra (or domes) to protect their wings.
- There are more than 5,000 species of various colors and shapes across the world.
- The presence of black dots on their backs helps to differentiate the species. They can have between two and twenty-four points.
- The most common in our gardens is red with seven dots on the back.
- She can live for three years.
Physical peculiarities of the ladybug
- The ladybug has two antennae which are used to smell and taste to compensate for its sight which is very poor.
- His feet allow him to move, of course, but also to smell.
- If its bright color isn't enough to ward off predators, it can release a disgusting liquid or play dead.
Did you know ?
They say that if a ladybug lands on your shoulder, you have to make a wish, because it brings good luck. The number of black dots she has on her back will tell you how many months you will be lucky. We risk nothing to try!
Ladybug life cycle
After mating, the female lays between fifty and one hundred orange eggs.
- After three to seven days, the eggs turn black. The larvae are released.
- To grow, they make aphid feasts. After a last meal, they attach themselves to a leaf and wind up in a silk thread to transform into nymphs (metamorphosis stage).
A few days later…
- The ladybug comes out of the pupa.
- It is entirely yellow and without dots. Its elytra are soft.
- Gradually, the lower points appear and the wings are spread.
- The upper points follow, the wings are folded, the ladybug is orange in color.
These changes take place in just over an hour ... A few days later, it turns red.
Benefits of the ladybug in the garden
If you are looking for an alternative to chemical treatments to ward off pests, the ladybug is the insect you should invite into your garden, as it mainly feeds on aphids. This source of protein is essential for him to grow taller.
- A larva can eat 80 aphids per day, a ladybug 100 aphids per day.
If the aphids run out, it will feed on mealybugs, thrips andwhiteflies.
Reintroducing ladybugs to the garden
If your garden is deserted by ladybugs, you can reintroduce them by purchasing larvae from a retailer (like Truffaut).
You just need to place them delicately using a brush on an area infected with aphids (a rose for example).
They should be handled with care, as the odorous liquid they give off in self-defense is allergenic for some people.
- Be careful, if your garden is swarming with ants, your ladybugs will be in danger, because ants protect and defend aphids.
- The ants reap the honeydew which corresponds to their droppings after feeding on plant sap (contains sugar, proteins, vitamins, minerals and amino acids).
ATmeditate: "Thanks to you my roses are beautiful,
Rid of aphids,
Who only make lace
Who transform them into placemats. "