Let Sleeping Ladybirds Lie

ladybird sloe

Where do ladybirds sleep?

After what seems to have been a fairly good summer for the little red beetles, I’ve started to come across ladybirds all over the place, finding a bit of warmth and shelter wherever they could as the autumn gets wet and windy.

While I was nipping in and out of town on my bike last Saturday, I stopped at a bush that had great big blueberry-style fruits on it. I’d no idea these were sloes until I looked them up on t’internet, but I vowed to come back later with a tub and grab some for making jam.

We were heading out for a meal in the evening, so we stopped on the way and I jumped out the car in the dark. Armed with my headtorch and Tupperware, I started gathering the sloes – until I accidentally uncovered a little gathering of ladybirds.

Feeling a bit guilty for taking away their shelter, I left the rest of that clump of sloes alone and hoped that once I’d disappeared they’d all up sticks and shuffle under one of the neighbouring fruits.

Everyone Loves A Ladybird

It’s funny how deeply entrenched attitudes to animals and bugs are – whilst we might be (at best) pretty indifferent to spiders and daddy longlegs, everybody welcomes a ladybird and would happily let one crawl across their arm or leg.

I was curious to know why we’re so fond of ladybirds, and I found some fascinating facts about them. Did you know:

  • A ladybird can eat up to 5,000 aphids in its life! No wonder they’re loved by gardeners and farmers.
  • Ladybirds pretend they are dead to deter attackers.
  • Ladybirds live in almost every part of the world except Antarctica and above the Arctic circle.
  • Ladybirds have a top speed of 15mph in flight.

Here’s hoping they managed to get a good night’s sleep, despite my rude interruption.

Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.