What Do Pet Ladybugs Eat?

By Katelyn Coyne

Keeping a ladybug as a pet in a bug box or terrarium can help kids understand the life cycle of an organism through observation. It is important to keep the atmosphere moist for them, either by spraying the living environment or by putting a damp paper towel inside. Their diet can include small insects, fungi, or fruit, but what you will feed the ladybug depends on the type you are keeping.

Ladybug on grass
ladybug on leaf
credit: Denis Tabler/iStock/Getty Images

Aphids

aphid on green leaf
small aphids on a leaf
credit: lnzyx/iStock/Getty Images

Most ladybugs will eat aphids. These tiny insects are pests to gardeners because they eat through plant leaves, destroying foliage. Purchase aphids at any pet-supply store and put them in your ladybug container so they can feast on them.

Other insects

Gall mites on linden tree leafs
mites on a leaf
credit: AdrianHancu/iStock/Getty Images

Most ladybugs will eat other small insects like mites, white flies, and scale insects. These are also pests to plants. Make sure any insects you feed your ladybugs are smaller than it.

Epilachninae Lady Bugs

Ladybug
Epilachninae lady bug
credit: teptong/iStock/Getty Images

Epilachninae, a sub-species of ladybugs, are small round beetles that are orange-colored and spotted. They are considered to be the vegetarians of the ladybug world, since they eat fungi like mushrooms and mildew. Some even eat leaves.

Other Ladybug Foods

Raisins
spoonful of raisins
credit: mcfields/iStock/Getty Images

Regardless of the type of ladybug you own, it is possible to feed them without purchasing aphids and other insects from an animal-supply store. Feed your caged ladybug moistened raisins or other sweet non-acidic fruit. For a special treat, add a bit of jelly.