Asian Lady Beetle vs Ladybug: What’s the Difference?

Knowing how to tell the difference between an Asian lady beetle vs ladybug can be extremely beneficial, especially if you have a garden in your backyard. While ladybugs are known for being the perfect garden companions, Asian lady beetles are a different story. These lookalikes often cause more trouble than they’re worth, so it is important to be able to tell these two insects apart.

In this article, we will address some of the key differences between Asian lady beetles and ladybugs so that you can avoid these common pests if you happen to see them in your garden. Let’s get started!

Comparing Asian Lady Beetle vs Ladybug

asian lady beetle vs ladybug
Asian lady beetles are slightly larger than ladybugs and have different markings and color.
Asian Lady Beetle Ladybug
Species Coccinellidae Coccinellidae
Size Slightly larger than ladybug Slightly smaller than lady beetle
Appearance Orange or red with black and white spots; has an M or W pattern on head Bright red with black spots; white spots on side of head
Behavior Gathers in large clusters; bites humans; releases foul liquid when threatened Harmless garden helpers; overwinter outside under leaf piles and in protected areas
Diet Ladybugs aphids, mites Aphids, whiteflies, mites

The Main Differences Between Asian Lady Beetle vs Ladybug

asian lady beetle vs ladybug
Ladybugs are widely considered helpful garden bugs, while Asian lady beetles bite humans.

There are many key differences between Asian lady beetles vs ladybugs. While they are both members of the same beetle species, Asian lady beetles are slightly larger than ladybugs and have different markings and color. Ladybugs are widely considered helpful garden bugs. However, Asian lady beetles bite humans and can invade your home in the wintertime. Finally, the diet differs between these two insects, as Asian lady beetles eat ladybugs.

Let’s take a look at these differences in more detail now.

Asian Lady Beetle vs Ladybug: Size

One key difference between Asian lady beetles and ladybugs is their size. While it can be difficult to tell unless the two bugs are side by side, Asian lady beetles tend to grow larger than ladybugs. However, both beetles average around a centimeter in length. This means that this metric isn’t ideal for telling them apart in the wild.

Asian Lady Beetle vs Ladybug: Appearance and Markings

asian lady beetle vs ladybug
Ladybugs are only found in bright red with black spots, while Asian lady beetles are found in orange, red, and even yellow shades, with black and white markings in various places on their body.

The primary difference between an Asian lady beetle and a ladybug can be found in their overall appearance and markings. Ladybugs are only found in bright red with black spots, while Asian lady beetles are found in orange, red, and even yellow shades, with black and white markings in various places on their body.

This can still mean that it is difficult to tell these two bugs apart, especially because ladybugs often have white spots along the sides of their heads. Asian lady beetles will often have this as well. However, there is one distinct physical appearance that you can keep an eye out for when trying to tell the difference between two insects.

Asian lady beetles have a trademark M or W on their body, often in black or white on their head. While this can be difficult to pick up on at first, you will no doubt notice it when you look at a ladybug and an Asian lady beetle side by side. You may also notice that an Asian lady beetle is longer in the body, with a more angular head. By contrast, ladybugs tend to be very round.

asian lady beetle vs ladybug
An Asian lady beetle is longer in the body, with a more angular head, while ladybugs tend to be very round.

Asian Lady Beetle vs Ladybug: Typical Behavior

Another key difference between these two insects lies in their typical behaviors. Asian lady beetles bite humans and animals, while ladybugs are entirely harmless. These beetles also exhibit different behaviors in the wintertime, as ladybugs over winter in outdoor leaf piles and plant areas, while Asian lady beetles seek out heat.

This essentially means that Asian lady beetles are more likely to be found indoors during the winter time, while ladybugs will always be outside. Asian lady beetles also cluster in large groups, making for a potential disaster should all of these beetles invade your home. Another difference between these two beetles is that Asian lady beetles exude a foul-smelling liquid substance when they are stressed or worried that they are in danger, while ladybugs do not have this capability.

Asian Lady Beetle vs Ladybug: Diet

asian lady beetles vs ladybug
Asian lady beetles are more likely to be found indoors during the winter time, while ladybugs will always be outside.

A final difference between Asian lady beetles vs ladybugs can be found in their diet. Ladybugs are known for being extremely helpful garden bugs, given that they eat aphids, white flies, mites, and many other unfortunate pasts. But what do Asian lady beetles eat?

While the diet of an Asian lady beetle is very similar to that of a ladybug, there is one key difference. Asian lady beetles eat ladybugs, which means that they eliminate this helpful bug from your garden. While they also eat aphids, Asian lady beetles tend to cause much more damage to homes given their desire to cluster and invade during the winter time or cold months.

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