Vol. 5 Issue 4, Fall 2000
By Patty Selly
During a sunny afternoon last fall, I glanced out my window to see hundreds of tiny specs floating through the air. Curious to see what it was, I stepped out into the back yard and was thrilled to find ladybugs by the hundreds floating through the gentle sunlight. They were clustered together on the side of my house, gathering up in huge numbers on the deck railing, and even landing on me! I smiled and stood outside marveling at these tiny wonders.
Did you know that in the early to middle of fall, ladybugs gather together by the thousands to find suitable spots to spend the winter together? It’s true!
During the winter months, ladybugs, like many insects, enter a state where their bodies slow down and almost stop working completely. This is a lot like hibernation, which is what woodchucks and chipmunks do! In insects, it’s called estivation or overwintering. It can be really amazing! Imagine looking into a hollow log and finding a big ball made up of thousands of these critters. They look for spots that are well-protected such as hollow logs, holes in the ground, or even crevices in houses! In the early spring, as the weather warms, they awaken and venture back out into the world.