Ladybirds may look gentle and sweet, but they can become aggressive and hostile if they don't have access to food or water.
Certain species of ladybirds are more prone to biting humans than others. In such instances, these insects may bite people if they feel threatened.
In rare cases, ladybird bites can cause an allergic reaction, although they are generally not considered a health risk.
Why do ladybirds bite people?
Gardeners dealing with pesky insects often welcome the presence of ladybirds, as these tiny creatures feed on the insects and help keep the population in check.
During times of hardship, ladybirds resort to drastic measures to stay alive, such as consuming other ladybirds and biting humans to gain sustenance or access to liquid resources.
In particular, the Asian Harlequin ladybird species tends to resort to humans as a source of food when temperatures are hot or their environment is challenging.
Ladybirds don't have the same feeding habits as gnats, midges and mosquitos, and they don't use venom or saliva that can cause skin irritation. Therefore, humans are unlikely to react adversely when interacting with them.
Although ladybirds usually feed on soft insects, there is the possibility that their bite may break the skin and cause infection. As such, knowing the risks of handling these insects is crucial.
Although it is rare, some people may be allergic to mosquito bites. If you experience swelling in areas of the body where you haven't been bitten, breathing difficulties, or any other severe symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Treating ladybird bites
Ladybird bites are generally harmless, but clean the affected area with soap and water to prevent infection.
If you are concerned about any symptoms you may be experiencing after being bitten, contact one of our medical professionals immediately.
By inspecting the area of injury, a doctor can determine whether or not a ladybird bite may be the cause.
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