Most ladybug species are predators, preying upon other insects, especially aphids and scale insects, though they sometimes consume pollen in times of scarcity. The group known as Epilachninae are plant eaters and are considered agricultural pests.
One of the most common species of ladybug, Coccinella septempunctata, is considered a voracious predator of aphids. It has been deliberately released in areas of the United States to serve as a natural pest control. Not only do they have large appetites, but they also lay huge numbers of eggs in the midst of aphid colonies, and the young start feeding as soon as they are hatched. The species that belong to Epilachninae are all herbivores, in contrast to the rest of the ladybug family. They are distinguished from the predatory species by their hairy or spiny shells, which are especially prominent in their larval forms. Epilachninae eat corn, soy beans, spinach and cotton.