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Facts about how to catch and find ladybugs for photography and study
Catching and studying ladybugs can be a really fun experience and it is also a great way for children to get out and explore their environment as well as learn about nature and learn to respect all the tiny forms of life in it. Unless you are an entymologist (one who studies insects), please put the ladybugs back when you are done checking them out so they can get back to cleaning up pests and continuing their life cycle.
These techniques for catching ladybugs below are tried and true and are meant to help your exploration of these little creatures be a productive one. You never know how many ladybug species you may have living in your area. If you find success and get pictures of these beautiful little creatures we would love to have your ladybug photos on our site!
Visual search for ladybugs
A good visual search for ladybugs is probably the most natural way and typical way people begin searching for ladybugs. It's fun to get outside and start observing nearby plants and foliage to see if you can find these wonderful little insects. However if these are less common in your area or you are not used to seeing ladybugs, this particular technique for finding them may require some knowledge of their biology. Learn facts about ladybugs here.
Beating - Branches or plants to catch ladybugs
You'll be amazed how many interesting things you will collect in addition to ladybugs using this technique. The simple process involves first getting or making a device for collecting ladybugs such as a net, umbrella or a homemade beating tray (as depicted below). You then beat tree branches and vegetation and let the debris and insects collect on your device.
In one picture below a collector beats branches with a broom and collects the ladybugs in a net while another shakes brush on a homemade beating tray.
Save on a ladybug catching net on ebay ...
A ladybug light trap
Most people have seen bugs grouping and flying around porch lights at night. Well ladybugs are no exception. There are a number of ladybug species that are attracted to light such as Harmonia axyridis, Calvia decemguttata, Halyzia sedecimguttata and we sometimes have Hippodamia convergens trying to fly into our lights as well. A light tented properly so that insects can land without getting burnt and you don't start a fire will give you the best scenario for collecting ladybugs. Once the ladybugs land have a container available for collecting them.
Sweeping for ladybugs
This is a great technique for catching ladybugs and really fun for kids as well. Using a net make scooping motions across vegetation. The sweeping motion will collect ladybugs and other insects that are crawling on the shoots of grasses, small branches and flowers. Because the motion is done in relative quick speed many little insects that may normally fly away are caught in the net including ladybugs. Examine the content of your net to see what really cool creatures you have collected.
Learn some great facts about ladybugs such as what they are, what they eat, where to find them and much more!
Learn about the anatomy of ladybugs. The most well known part of the ladybug is called the elytra which is the outer hard shell-like wings of the ladybug.
Ladybug Life Cycle
Ladybugs sure grow up fast. Like other beetles they have complex little lives. Learn the phases of a ladybug's life cycle here!
Ladybug for Pest Control
Ladybugs are renowned for their abilities to control a number of pests that eat our plants. Learn the facts about ladybugs & pest control here.