Are Ladybugs Poisonous? A Closer Look at the Orange Varieties

Ladybugs are often revered as a symbol of good luck. But are ladybugs poisonous? Can some of them be harmful to your pets? Let’s learn more about this facet of ladybugs in the article below.

The world is filled with many species of ladybugs. These tiny little insects with bright-colored bodies look cute and intriguing but remember, looks can be deceptive.

Many species of ladybugs are poisonous and can cause problems to pets and even humans in some cases. Lets us take a look at these insects closely and find how poisonous they really are.

Are Ladybugs Poisonous

Are Ladybugs Poisonous?

Ladybugs are not poisonous to humans. While they are not poisonous, some of them can cause allergic reactions in the human body.

The story is different with pets; they can be very harmful to dogs and cats if they eat them in large quantities.

You will be fascinated to know that a ladybug’s poisonous attributes can be determined by its body color, region of origin, and diet.

Studies have shown that the more colorful the ladybugs are, the lesser is the chance of them being poisonous. Let us take a look at a few of the types to understand this better.

Are Black Ladybugs Poisonous?

You may not have heard of them, but there are ladybugs that are black in color and have red spots on their body.

These insects are called pine ladybirds and are considered one of the most toxic bugs in the ladybug family. Black ladybugs can also cause allergies to humans.

Are Ladybugs Poisonous

Are Orange Ladybugs Poisonous?

Orange ladybugs, also known as Asian ladybeetles, are also dangerous for your pets as they have toxins in their tiny bodies.

Due to the high amount of toxins in the body, they can be allergic to humans as well. Moreover, orange ladybugs can bite our skin and cause rashes and pain.

Are Yellow Ladybugs Poisonous?

No, the yellow ladybugs are not poisonous and less aggressive compared to the orange ladybugs.

Even if this insect bites you, there won’t be any severe damage to your body. At most, you can suffer an allergic rash from their bites.

Are Red Ladybugs Poisonous?

Red ladybugs are not as poisonous as Asian ladybugs. These insects are excellent predators and can also defend themselves in challenging situations.

The colored bodies act as a deterrent for predators like birds and other giant insects.

Are Ladybugs Without Spots Poisonous?

Ladybugs without spots are not poisonous. However, like all other ladybugs, they, too, have a foul smell and taste.

There are different types of spotless ladybugs, including, Steelblue ladybugs, polished ladybugs, California ladybugs, and more.

Are Ladybugs Poisonous
Mating Lady Beetles

Who Are Ladybugs Poisonous To?

While many ladybugs are poisonous in nature but thankfully, most of them aren’t harmful to humans. Moreover, the ladybug’s poison works differently on different creatures.

On top of that, the yellow foul-smelling liquid secreted by them also has different effects on different organisms. Let us look at a few of them in the sections below.

Are Ladybugs Poisonous to People?

Ladybugs are not poisonous to people; the only problem with them is they tend to bite. They do so in rare situations where they are in desperate search of food and moisture.

Also, they leave a foul-smelling yellow fluid behind, and since it contains specific types of proteins, they can trigger allergic reactions in the human body.

Continuous exposure to dead ladybugs can also be the cause of an allergic reaction.

Asian Lady Beetle Spiritual Meaning
What Parasitized the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle???

Are Ladybugs Poisonous to Dogs?

Ladybugs are harmful to dogs, especially when your pet swallows them.

The yellow fluid that these insects secrete can be lethal for the dogs as it causes chemical burns in their mouths and gastrointestinal tracts.

This can lead to problems like vomiting, drowsiness, and more.

Are Ladybugs Poisonous to Cats?

Although cats and lady-beetle encounters are fewer, that doesn’t change the fact that ladybugs can also be dangerous for cats.

Similar to dogs, the yellow liquid affects cats as well and can cause chemical burns in the mouth and the gastrointestinal tract. If these bugs are consumed in large quantities by a cat, they can be highly poisonous.

Are Ladybugs Harmful?

Ladybugs are harmful in an entirely different sense – they tend to invade your houses during winter and will swarm your doors and windows to get inside.

These bugs look for places to overwinter because they cannot live in extreme cold, and during such times they can be a major pest.

They also secrete a yellow-colored liquid when threatened, which is obnoxious smelling and can leave stains on your clothes and bedding.

Are Ladybugs Poisonous
Polished Lady Beetle

Do Ladybugs Carry Diseases?

You will be surprised to know that many ladybugs are carriers of an STD known as Laboulbeniales fungal disease.

But, these STDs are specific to arthropods, and it does not cause any harm to humans.

Do Ladybugs bite?

Although ladybugs don’t have a stinger like wasps and bees, they can still hurt you by biting.

They have strong mandibles for biting off aphids, and they are not afraid of using them. Moreover, they can pinch your skin with their legs.

When these insects are desperately searching for food, they won’t mind biting off exposed human skin to get some nutrients.

These bites can be quite painful. Therefore one must be careful while dealing with ladybugs.

Native Ladybugs Versus The Asian Lady Beetle: Which Is More Harmful?

An Asian ladybug might look quite similar to a native ladybug, but they don’t act like them. 

The native ladybugs rarely invade or sneak into homes, while the Asian species love to sneak into houses, especially during the winter.

Secondly, the Asian beetles contain the most toxins in their bodies compared to the other ladybugs. 

Are Ladybugs Poisonous
Eye-Spotted Lady Beetle

Adding to that, these insects also release a yellow liquid with a bad smell when they feel threatened.

This is called reflex bleeding, and it is capable of causing allergies in the human body. It is a type of defense mechanism for them. 

On top of that, the bleeding also leaves yellow stains on whatever it touches.

What Will Happen If Someone Eats a Ladybug?

If you accidentally eat a ladybug, you will experience a foul taste with a smelly odor, but it shouldn’t be enough to harm your mouth and gastrointestinal tract.

However, if they bite, you will feel pain. But due to the absence of venom or other digestive juices and saliva, it won’t be lethal.

Continuous exposure to dead ladybugs can cause allergic reactions in the body.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Ladybugs Toxic to Dogs?

Yes, ladybugs are dangerous for dogs. If a dog eats a ladybug, the yellow liquid secreted from its body will cause nasty chemical burns in the mouth and gastrointestinal tract of the dog.
This will later lead to problems like vomiting, drowsiness, nausea, and weakness.

What happens if a ladybug bites you?

If a ladybug bites you, you will feel a pinch-like pain. Apart from that, it won’t cause any other harm to your body.
But you must be careful around them as excessive exposure to dead ladybugs can cause allergic reactions in your body.

Do ladybugs carry STDs?

Yes, ladybugs are carriers of different sexually transmitted diseases, but you don’t need to panic.
These diseases are only transferrable and effective against anthropods. The STDs carried by these insects won’t have any effect on the human body.

Are ladybugs harmful in the house?

Yes, ladybugs can be harmful around your house, especially if you have a pet. These insects are highly toxic for pets like dogs and cats and can cause severe problems. Also, they can leave smelly yellow stains on your clean clothes.

Wrap Up

Ladybugs are beneficial insects for farmers and gardeners, but a few of them can be dangerous for pets and sometimes even for humans.

There are several defense mechanisms by which these bugs have evolved, including reflex bleeding, biting, aposematism, and more. All of these can cause problems for you and your pet.

Therefore it is crucial to identify which of these insects are harmful. We hope this article gave you that knowledge.

Thanks for reading the article.


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

Leave a Comment