The ladybird is a brightly coloured beetle, usually red or yellow with black spots. They have an oval, almost round shape. A large part of the head and thorax are covered by the neck shield, and its back end is covered by two wing cases (the hard main wings). Ladybirds congregate with other ladybirds. If they are endangered, they usually fall stock-still and refuse to move at all. They can also excrete a yellow fluid that tastes and smells very bitter. This fluid is not poisonous, but gives a good impression of being so.
The ladybird is a welcome partner in the agricultural world. The reason for this is evident: they’re aphid guzzlers. A ladybird can eat up to 500 aphids in a day. What’s more, they are in no hurry to move on so long as there are still aphids to be eaten (unless you chase them away). If you see a ladybird, just leave it in peace! Take note, however, that the ‘Lemon ladybird’ is not looked on so positively. This is a yellow variant with black spots. This doesn’t eat aphids but mildew. Even though mildew is a cannabis pest, the lemon ladybird is not much help; in fact, it’s a carrier and spreader of the disease.
Although they’re very desirable, it should be noted that the ladybird is a protected species in Belgium. People are therefore not allowed to catch them, kill them, collect them, sell them, transport them, imprison or disturb them. In other words, you can’t do anything with or too them. The above information therefore is only to be acted upon in countries where the ladybird is not a protected species.