Do Ladybugs Bite? 3 Things You Should Know

Can ladybugs bite?

The short answer is YES – Ladybugs bite.

Ladybugs are one of the most easily recognized insects and many people, including children, will pick them up without a second thought. While you shouldn’t be scared of these little beetles, you should know that on rare occasions they can and will bite you. Some species are more likely to bite and some people will react differently than others to those bites.

Two-spotted lady beetle eating an aphid
By Denis Doucet,

In this article, we’ve got all of the details you should know about ladybugs biting and the symptoms their bites can cause.


1. Ladybugs Can Bite You

All beetles have mouthparts called mandibles, which are what they use to bite and chew. Beetle mandibles come in many different shapes and sizes.

Mandibles of the blue-margined ground beetle
Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,

Since ladybugs are beetles, they have mandibles they can use to bite you. Their mandibles are nowhere near the size of the blue-margined ground beetles (shown above) and are quite difficult to see with the naked eye.

You shouldn’t worry too much about being bitten by these little critters since their mandibles are small and most species won’t bite you. The exception, and most notorious biter, is the multicolored Asian lady beetle. The only other species which rarely bites is the two-spotted lady beetle (Adalia bipunctata)[1].

Multicolored Asian lady beetle crawling on hand
By Cole Shoemaker,

This particular species has been known to bite when it is searching for food or water, or if it feels threatened. It can bite hard enough to break delicate skin which can cause discomfort but no long-lasting damage. Unlike mosquitoes, ladybirds don’t transmit any diseases to humans when they bite.


2. Ladybugs Can’t Sting You

While some of these little beetles can bite you, they are not able to sting. They, like all beetles, lack a stinger at the end of their abdomen. Only insects in the order Hymenoptera, which includes bees, wasps, and ants, have stingers.

Eastern cicada-killer wasp
By Healthy Yards,

So if you feel a pinch from a lady beetle, you’ve been bitten not stung.


3. Symptoms Of Ladybug Bites

For most people who are bitten by one of these little beetles, there will be little if any reaction at the bite site. Most people will simply feel a small pinching sensation and that’s it. On rare occasions, some individuals have reported a ladybug breaking the skin when it bites if the skin is already damaged or extremely delicate.

Two-spotted lady beetle on hand
By adelezar14,

People with sensitive skin may be more likely to experience a welt or mild swelling at the site of the bite, similar to a mosquito bite. On even rarer occasions some people have reported having a mild rash after being bitten. There haven’t been any reported severe reactions to ladybug bites so there is no need to start panicking if you are bitten.



Now you know all about the bites of this little critter and the symptoms some people experience. Lady beetle bites are rare and it is even rarer for them to cause any symptoms other than a small pinch. The benefits these beetles provide to your garden in reducing pests greatly outweigh any harm they can cause you or your pets.



[1] Koch, R. L. (2003). The multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis: a review of its biology, uses in biological control, and non-target impactsJournal of insect Science3(1).

About Dakota Crawford 44 Articles
Dakota Crawford is a freelance science writer who covers gardening, forestry, wildlife, and entomology. She earned three degrees from The University of Georgia: Bachelor of Science in Wildlife, Master of Science in Forest Resources, and Master of Science in Entomology.