The Friendly Ladybird Beetle

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
How often have you watched a pretty little ladybird beetle (or ladybug), with its orange-red body covered with black polka dots, crawl over your finger and said: "Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home; your house is on fire, your children will burn"? Of course, we really wouldn't want her children to burn, because these insects are one of man's best friends.
These colorful beetles save growers millions of dollars every year. All the tiny insects they eat on citrus trees is one of our greatest benefits. Another is in the control of the Colorado potato bug, which is a serious pest all over North America. They also eat aphids, as well as many other plant-eating insects.
The female lays up to two hundred eggs, depositing them in cracks of bark or under leaves in areas where aphids live. When the larvae hatch, they immediately devour the aphids. After a few weeks of eating at a great rate, a larva reaches full size. God-given instinct tells it to attach itself by its tail to the underside of a leaf where it forms a shiny chrysalis. Later it emerges as a fully developed ladybug, able to fly from one place to another, eating harmful insects in great quantities.
Our pretty friend has been provided with two unusual means of escape from its enemies. It can produce a foul-smelling fluid that makes it unattractive to its enemy. If this fails, it can "play possum," and the would-be captor, thinking it is dead, will often leave it alone.
In late autumn the ladybugs hibernate, some going into buildings and some under the bark of dead trees or other sheltered places. In the western states, millions of them fly long distances to the mountains and hide in the rocks. One group was estimated to contain 750 million! In the mountains, the dormant ladybugs are hunted by collectors and shoveled into sacks to be refrigerated until spring. Then they are sold to orchardists and farmers, who are happy to buy them to place among their trees and plants.
God, who created these helpful little creatures, uses them so wonderfully to aid mankind. It should make us wonder in what way we may serve Him? The Psalmist said, "Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves" (Psa. 100:2-32Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (Psalm 100:2‑3)). The Lord Himself invites us to serve Him. He has said, "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honor" (John 12:2626If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor. (John 12:26)). If we know Him as our very own Lord and Savior, it is a real privilege to serve Him.