Being such a tough little lady means these cuties know how to deal with predators. They can emit a foul odor from their knees to let anyone know they don't taste good. Sometimes I wish I had that power when I'm out with my friends for a beer.
Lady beetles have 4 stages of their life cycle: egg, larvae, pupa, adult. The larvae and adult are the stages when they are active and feeding.
Eggs are usually laid on the undersides of leaves to protect them from predators. Once they hatch, the larvae can eat 350-400 aphids (a favorite meal) each in just a few weeks. Once they are ready, they will pupate. During pupation, the insect is changing from a long alligator looking thing to the spotted beetle we all know and love.
|lady beetle larvae|
You can encourage lady beetles in your garden by providing a log or two with the bark still on for habitat, and also not using ANY pesticides on your property, including the "organic" ones. Also, some lady beetles like to feed on pollen and nectar, so planting dill, cilantro, and yarrow will help them hang out and make babies in your garden.