Do ladybugs bite? The answer may surprise you.

Do ladybugs bite?

Public domain ladybug  image from www.public-domain-image.comTotally random, but many years ago on my way to summer camp in the Sierras, I was attacked by a swarm of ladybugs.

I know what you’re thinking? Ladybugs don’t bite. They’re so sweet. I love ladybugs.They wouldn’t hurt a fly.

 

Yada yada yada. Well you know what I say? Ladybugs suck!

So here’s the back story: It was a hot June or July many years ago. My grandma, aunt, cousin Bridget and I were all profusely sweating in grandma’s old AC-busted station wagon. Bridget and I were getting dropped off for a week at summer camp, somewhere high in the Sierra Mountains of California.

We stopped on the side of the road in a shady turnout to stretch our legs and have lunch.  We still had another hour or so of driving left and it was the hottest time of the day so even in the shade, we were barely cooling off.

After a few minutes outside, I started getting bit all over my body where the skin was accessible (I was wearing a tank top and shorts). The culprit? LADYBUGS! As I jumped up and started freaking out that I was going to be eaten alive by these damn things, Grandma said there was no way. She suggested mosquitoes were actually the ones to blame. But it wasn’t mosquitoes. There were ladybugs on me and they were biting. A lot.

Whatever year this was, there was nothing on the internet that suggested ladybugs bite, but over the years I continued to search. Occasionally, I would come across a forum where someone insisted they had been bitten by those little red and black-spotted bugs. I sympathized with these victims. For I too, were in their shoes with no one believing us.

Still to this day, I haven’t found it written in stone (or on a legitimate site) that ladybugs bite but I know it’s true. The more incidents I read about, the more I know I’m not alone.

Robinwithani question about lady bugs

Goal for the Green says yes, Asian Ladybugs bite.

Q&A: Do Ladybugs BITE? And How Can You Keep Them Out of the House? Gardens Alive says yes.

Yahoo! Answers: Can ladybugs bite? The best answer says yes.

Everything Ladybug! says they pinch.

I asked the question on Aardvark:

Aardvark question do lady bugs bite

Aardvark question do lady bugs bite

And I even asked on Quora, but didn’t get any answers.

  • Emilyevogt

    Hi Robin! I have also been bitten by ladybugs – numerous times over the years. It was always when I was releasing a purchased container full of the creatures. I don’t know if they were hungry or pissed but it hurt and always managed to freak me out.
    – Emily

    • Jennifer V Gray

      Imported Asian ones bite.

  • Félix

    Hey there! Thanks for your article.

    And yes, LADYBIGS BITE AND IT HUUURTS!

    I have been bit by multiple ladybugs throughout the years. I wonder if it is my body odor or something. My partner NEVER gets bitten, nor anyone else in my family. But uf there is a ladybug in the room, eventually it will make its way over to me and bite me. Several mornings, I have been awakened by the bit of a ladybug, when I didn’t throw them out of my bedroom the night before.

    My friends also keep telling me that ladybugs don’t bit. One of my friends, with whom I have a lot of personality traits in common with, is also regularly bitten.

    I have seen videos and heard of ppl being attacked by swarms of ladybugs that have found there way into a home for the winter. When snowbirds return home from Mexico, turn on the heating in their house, the ladybugs (often grouped together on a wall ias part of a massive survival strategy), the lady bugs wake up. With no food and an enclosed space, they start to attack the ppl.

    This has never happened to me, but like you, I get bitten when no one else is. My friend has the same issue.

    There are 2 lady bugs on my window as I type this. Honestly, I am about to freak out.

    A friend who is never new age in perspective says that if something bites you with uncommon frequency, you share an “affinity with it”. Somehow, it means that you share some of the symbolic qualities of the creature: for ladybugs it may mean that you are well-liked, bring others good fortune, and enable their wishes. Or you yourself benefit from those qualities.

    Hope that is true and that it means good things for you!
    Cheers,
    Félix

    • Oh my, well if there’s a bright light at the end of the ladybug biting tunnel, I guess being well-like and bringing good fortune is pretty cool. Thanks for sharing!

  • Hammonjt

    I just got bit bye a lady bug and its bleeding and now a bump. So yes they do bit

    • Yes they do!

    • Ouchy!! Hope you’re staying away from those bugs and passing on the word that they do indeed bite.

    • GA girl

      I got bit yesterday 12-4-13

  • Bree

    I am victim of the “benign” ladybugs. It hurts man. BREE

    • It does! And ppl still don’t think that ladybugs do it.

  • GA girl

    I was in the woods in Georgia and got bit by a ladybug. It was mad when I knocked it off my arm and started diving at me the little mean thing. The ones in the city are used to people but I unfortunately was alone in the woods. They are vicious to be so so little

    • Ouch! Well the city ones must be more friendly too. Thanks for sharing!

      • Jennifer V Gray

        Asian ones imported for pest control.

  • Anne

    I have been waking up to small bites on my body. I have also had a ladybug in my room for the past few weeks… I figured they were harmless, and it’s cold outside! I assumed I must also have a spider hiding in my room… But as I was just sitting here, the little guy landed on me, crawled to the crook of my elbow, and bit me twice!! Allll the sad feels.

    • Ugh, what a spot to get bitten. The irritation from moving your arm is going to keep that itch going. Damn ladybugs!

    • Ken

      this poor ladybug was looking for moisture As it is trapped in your bedroom and most likely very confused and it has no source of water. Ladybugs like humid places because they need the moisture or they will die.

  • Name

    I have a few ladybugs I keep and the most common Asian multicolored ladybugs which are what I have can bite but barely and it leaves no mark at all unless your allergic. Other species with bigger mouthparts can bite more effectively though.

  • MojoJojo

    Ladybugs will nip at you when they feel trapped (in joint areas, or under clothes), if you try to swat at them and miss, or if you smell particularly salty. Ladybugs are not the only insects to respond to the scent of a human’s skin. Mosquitoes plague me, but avoid my father. Even when we stand side by side. My grandmother’s house is full of lady bugs, spring through fall. Not only do they bite, they also spray stinky stuff on you when frightened, and smell pretty bad when they die, too.

    • EEEk. Sounds freaky. Not a fan. Thanks for stopping by!

  • A ladybug just bit me, so I Googled if they bite and yes found this! They totally do!

  • Jennifer V Gray

    Native ones do not, imported ones from Asia do.

  • Petitekeyboardist

    My daughter said one bit her on the leg and I said, “No, it couldn’t have–ladybugs don’t bite.” But then one landed on my arm and did indeed nip me. I am a believer!

  • bajacalla

    my son was bitten several different times by ladybugs when he was a child. native ladybugs. red and black ones. I didn’t believe him the first time, even though he had an obvious bug bite. the second time, I actually saw it happen.

  • Kris

    I recently got bitten by one – today in fact! I was so curious because I have never known ladybugs to bite people! I was making some homemade white chocolate covered pretzels and must have still had some underneath my nail when I moved the little thing. Boy, did it hurt! Caught me by surprise!

  • Emily Emmerson

    I was bitten by a ladybug when I was a child. No one ever believed me until I told this guy I was dating. He said, “Me, too!” So I married him.

  • ky,benson

    I know for a fact that they do bite, my wife doesn’t believe me.

  • Ken

    yes Ladybugs bite, and some times it can hurt. They are not big enough to break the skin but they are big enough to pinch you pretty good. Also it is not just the “Asian” Ladybugs that bite, it is ALL OF THEM! They do not bite because they are scared or mad it’s more of a whats this type of thing all though they will also bite if you happen to smell good to them like a nice aphid :P. For those that have never had a Ladybug bite them i can explain what it feels like. Ever been bit by a horsefly? That would be the extreme and it’s more like a normal “biting housefly” ( stable fly ) bite. It’s painful enough to make you jump or react but they do not leave red marks, bumps and other things like this because they do not have venom.

  • Bolt

    I got bit by a ladybug one summer, that was when the air was seriously thick with ladybugs, it was scary. My sister and I and our neighbors hid in the shed all day.