RSPB
Print page

I get ladybirds in my room on and off, but they always seem to die. What can I do to keep them alive?

Ladybirds are one of our most familiar and recognisable beetles. There are over 40 UK species of ladybird, but the two types you are most likely to encounter are the 2-spot and 7-spot ladybird. The 2-spot is most commonly seen in the winter.
 
Low temperatures make ladybirds inactive during the winter and many tuck themselves away to avoid the cold. Some may even huddle themselves together in groups.

7-spot ladybirds often over-winter under the bark or in cracks of tree trunks and whilst 2-spot ladybirds may use venues like this, they can also be found in lofts, in the corners of cool rooms or around window frames and doors and sometimes in the folds of curtains!

Ladybirds normally emerge from their hibernation around April.
 
Resistance to disease and survival during the winter months depends on the amount of food they were able to eat during the summer. For those ladybirds, which secreted themselves away in September and October, there is usually a 5-8 month before their next meal! and those that have not had chance to feed well over the summer, often perish.
 
If you should happen upon ladybirds in your house in winter, the best thing to do is to gently encourage them into a jar or box and place them outside either under a hedge or in a suitable sheltered place, during the warmer part of the day.
 
Ladybirds love to eat aphids and these colourful little beetles are extremely helpful in controlling such garden pests. Plants such as Honeysuckle, buddleia and rose bushes provide nectar for aphids.

Registering for our Homes for Wildlife scheme and following the gardening advice we send you to help ladybirds and all kinds of other wildlife is a great step – as is buying a ladybird box.  I recommend placing your box in a sunny and sheltered spot, and near to the plants mentioned above if you have them.

Contact us

If you do have have a wildlife-related question you have not been able to find the answer to, please contact us. Click on the link below to go to our Contact Us page.

Contact us