Ladybugs, ladybirds, and lady beetles (Family Coccinellidae). These beetles have been loved by gardeners for years. Well known for their predatory behaviors, they are often welcomed guests. They can range is size from 0.8 to 18 mm (0.03 to 0.71 inches) and colors vary by species.
These beetles are voracious predators that feed on many common pests such as aphids and scale insects. Like all beetles, they go through complete metamorphosis—just like butterflies: egg, larva, pupa, adult—and both larva and adult are predacious.
Active during warmer months and go into diapause during the winter.
Because of their usefulness in biological control, these beetles can be found in temperate and tropical zones worldwide.
Ladybugs are attracted to pest insects and flowers. They will sometimes even lay their eggs in the middle of heavily infested areas so that their young have plenty of food when they hatch.
There are many gimmicky things you can get to keep these in your garden. However, I recommend having plenty of flowers blooming throughout the year, a water source, and even some nice housing for them. You can find commercial “ladybug” housing but I recommend having some low ground cover in and around your garden.
If you are going to purchase ladybugs as a control, please make sure they are approved for your area. Since they are so widespread, some species do better in certain areas than others. Also, there have been instances of some species becoming invasive and destroying native, beneficial insects.