"Ladybug, Ladybug, fly away home...your house is on fire, and your children will burn. Except little Nan, who sits in a pan, weaving gold laces as fast as she can!"
I now know for certain that spring is on its way. Yes, I did see a robin and some daffodils blooming, but isn't the real reason I know spring is arriving. And, no it isn't because the time is changing this coming weekend. At my house when spring arrives, the Ladybugs come out to play.
Ladybugs are one of the few insects that actually hibernate during the winter months. I have heard, and read, that they will hibernate in the insulation as well as under the eaves of a house. After consuming aphids during the summer, Ladybugs see shelter for the coming cold months. This can occur in hollow logs, under dead leaves, or in houses....like mine. They like to hang out until the aphids are back in full population mode. At that time they will devote themselves to eating and mating. After their eggs are laid they will die and the cycle will start all over again. Legend has it that the Ladybug, or Lady Beetle, got its name during the Middle Ages. When swarms of insect were damaging crops, the people prayed to the Virgin Mary for help. Soon after the prayers, Ladybugs came and ate the pests, thus saving the crops. The heroic insects were then named, "The Beetles of Our Lady", and over time became known as Lady Beetles and/or Ladybugs. The red wings are known to represent the Virgin's cloak and the black spots are symbols of her joys and sorrows.
Folklore states that if you find a Ladybug in your home you should count its spots. That is how many dollars you will soon obtain.
If you hold a Ladybug in your hand, while making a wish, the direction that is flies away shows where your luck will come from.
Some Asian cultures believe Ladybugs understand human language and have been blessed by God.
In our home they receive the kindest goodbye. A little sweep up in the dust pan and out the door they go.