Ladybugs eat aphids, which are tiny, soft-bodied insects that feed on plants. According to Ladybug Lady, a single ladybug can eat as many as 50 aphids in one day. Ladybugs eat both the larvae and the adult forms of the aphids, and for this reason, many farmers use ladybugs to control pests on their crops. Ladybugs obtain moisture and nutrition from the aphids they eat.
The ladybug is an abundant creature, and a single female lays approximately 1,000 eggs in her lifetime, according to Ladybug Lady. Ladybugs are careful to lay their eggs near a food source. Commonly, this is on the underside of a leaf or stem in close proximity to a colony of aphids. Ladybug eggs hatch within a week, and the larvae begin eating aphids, tiny worms and even other insect eggs almost immediately. Being near a food source is vital for the survival of these newly hatched bugs.
There are over 300 different species of ladybugs in North America, and not all of them have spots. The species do, however, share their diet of aphids and other soft garden insects. Ladybugs clean themselves after a meal using their front legs to clean off their heads and antennae.