Everyone loves to catch a glimpse of ladybugs—especially gardeners. Ladybugs (which are not technically bugs, but beetles) feed on pesky aphids that harm apple, peach, and plum trees, as well as maples and pines.
Both native and non-native species of lady beetles abound in New England, but the ones seen inside and outside homes in huge numbers during the fall are non-native lady beetles (Harmonia axyridis) introduced from Asia. How the non-native ladybug came to the United States is still a matter of some debate, but in any case, you can now find them in all New England states, and they apparently do no harm to our native lady beetle species.
Learn more about ladybugs/lady beetles, including what to do if they have invaded your home this fall, on our website.
To celebrate these harmless, beautiful, beneficial beetles, here are five photos submitted to past years of our Picture This: Your Great Outdoors photo contest.