There are about 5,000 different species of ladybugs in the world and 200 species in California. Also known as lady beetles or ladybird beetles, they are an important beneficial insect. Ladybugs come in array of many different colors and patterns. The most familiar in North America is the seven-spotted ladybug, with its shiny, red-and-black body which are native to Europe but were brought to North America in the mid-1900s to control aphid populations.
Ladybugs are harmless to humans, however are a natural predator and eat aphids and other plant-eating pests. One ladybug can eat up to 5,000 insects in its lifetime!
A large group, or clump of ladybugs is called an aggregation – something these usually solitary beetles do each winter from about November to February.