How things come to be lucky is usually somewhat of a mystery and varies from one culture to the next. What’s considered lucky in one area of the world could be considered the exact opposite in other places. But the ladybug is one bug that’s thought to be a lucky charm all over the globe.
The Farming Theory Behind Ladybug Luck
There is reason to believe that ladybugs became a widespread symbol of good luck because they help farmers. As many gardeners know, ladybugs feast of pests like aphids that eat crop plants. When ladybugs were present that was a good sign other pests weren’t crawling all over the crops. Therefore ladybugs were like a natural form of pest control for ancient people.
At Vulcan Termite & Pest Control, Inc. we love these little guys. Ladybugs help make our job of eliminating pests a little easier, and they don’t do any harm to people, pets or structures.
Connections to Religion
Ladybugs are also mentioned in Catholicism and are supposed to be connected to the Virgin Mary, who is also sometimes called Our Lady. It is believed this is how ladybugs came to have their name. As legend has it the Virgin Mary sent ladybugs to protect crops so that people would have ample food. In the Middle Ages people also believed that the spots on ladybugs represented the Seven Sorrows of Mary.
Lucky Myths Surrounding Ladybugs
There are a few specific myths associated with ladybugs and luck. Here are some of the most common myths in America and around the world.
- If a ladybug lands on you then that’s very lucky. In some cultures it is believed that whatever the ladybug touches will be improved.
- If you see a ladybug that means good weather is near or that a person will soon have luck with love or money.
- If you kill a ladybug you will have bad luck.
- If you do get a hold of a ladybug make a wish. Whatever direction it flies away is where good luck will come from.
- Ladybugs with seven or less spots are said to be a sign of a good harvest.
- Norway folklore states that if a man and woman see a ladybug at the same time they will fall in love.
The chances of seeing a lucky ladybug while you’re looking for four leaf clovers this St. Patrick’s Day is good. Of the roughly 5,000 known species of ladybugs, 400 are known to exist in the U.S. But you’ll have to look closely. Ladybugs are only about the size of a pencil eraser.
Ladybugs hibernate during the winter and don’t emerge until spring has sprung. So, in mid-March ladybugs will be out and about, however early spring is also when ladybugs are busy laying their eggs, which they hide under leaves. If the weather is warm enough the eggs will start hatching in March. But little baby ladybugs are itsy bitsy black insects that don’t look anything like a ladybug. So you may see one and not even know it.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!