Why do ladybugs bite?

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It is said that some ladybugs bite. The domestic ladybugs, or lady beetles, mostly found in North America are not found to bite. The Asian origin, multicolored lady beetles are found to bite.  Northeast Asia is the habitat that is the original for the Asian lady beetles. The Asian lady beetles generally are found to hibernate in winter at home. The lady beetle has the ability to cause allergic reactions in some people. If the lady beetle infests a person for a long period, then it can cause itchy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, upper respiratory symptoms, and persistent or severe asthma.

The Asian lady beetle will have a unique head that is separated from the part of the body having wings. The Asian lady beetle sits on the skin, and it is there looking for food and moisture. When it is sitting on the skin, the humans will feel as if it is biting. But it may not bite. Some lady beetles bite and some do not. These beetles have spurs on their legs which could poke, prickle and scout for a meal. These beetles tend to check whether the skin is the source for their food. If the person has sensitive skin, then he/she might feel the pain. No toxic substance is involved in this prickle. They do not carry any disease.

The Asian lady bug seems to nibble or bite humans. The lady beetles are not very aggressive on humans. They do not break open the skin by biting nor do they suck the blood. The pain that is experienced will be only for short period. If the bite bothers the person, then an antiseptic can be applied. When these lady bugs are irritated, they leave a faint, foul-smelling fluid. This is done as a defense mechanism. This fluid might stain the clothes of the humans when it is released from its legs. This fluid might cause allergies. But, biting is rare and the stinging sensation might be due to the spurs.

Author: Hari M

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