How to help the ladybirds in your house in winter

Update November 2014
I first blogged about all the ladybirds gathering on our large South facing windows during winter back in 2011 and since that time have done a couple of experiments to see what’s best to try and keep them safe and protected. I’m aware that some people may say let nature take it’s course but actually, if we didn’t have these huge warm panes of glass which act like ladybird magnets, they might hunker down and sleep quietly though the winter… so it’s partly our fault πŸ˜‰
I did a bit of research and also have watched them over the last few years:
  • Firstly it’s not great for ladybirds to stay indoors with central heating & high temperatures. It’s too warm and they wake up from hibernation way before their usual March or April, find no natural aphid snacks available and can starve to death. Also a dry centrally heated atmosphere can dehydrate and kill them. That’s why they huddle, to keep moisture up and regulate their temperatures.
  • Ladybirds like to cuddle up together in high up places like around the top of window corners. When they’re all cuddled up like this they’re deep asleep but an extra warm day or high central heating stirs and wakes them into thinking it’s Springtime, which is bad news.Ladybirds in houses over winter
  • The ladybird life cycle is below, that’s a lot of sleeping! If we get a very mild Autumn into winter, many are still awake, looking for food which is getting scarce.Lifecycle diagram
  • If they’ve huddled up in your shed or a coolish room and they don’t bother you, leave them be, but if the room is too warm, bright or well used, you might want to move them. Far better to be tucked up in a ventilated box with pals in a cool dark place than at risk of early wakening / drying out. A greenhouse is a great place for them to overwinter or an outside porch.
  • Use a large match box and pop lots of air holes in it (not too big though). I’ve found that using a very soft small make up / fine paint brush is the best thing to gently catch them in a large match box then slide it closed so it’s dark to calm them down and send them back to sleep if they’ve woken. Don’t shake it about! Ladybirds are relatively hardy when they’ve got their legs all tucked up so if one falls to the floor on its back, gently put the brush near its soon to be waggling legs as it tries to right itself. It’ll cling to the brush and you can pop it back in the box with its pals.
  • I’ve tried bought insect houses and the like and none have worked, the ladybirds just crawl right out and head back up high to windows etc.
  • If you are really kind, you might like to create a special dark shelf up high near a window where they might live over winter. I’m seriously going to ask the joinery firm who are making our new bays to do this πŸ™‚
Last year I used a shoe box with air holes in the top and filled it with leaves, popping the ladybirds in there, probably about 60 of them. In March I put it on a West facing window ledge and by mid-March most had gone. About 15 had died and were left in the box. I’m not sure if this is a natural rate but this year I’m trying a smaller box so they huddle like they do naturally. Maybe the shoebox was too big and some got too cold? I’ll let you know next Spring if it works πŸ™‚
And if you do have a few ladybirds in your home during this mild winter, bear in mind it could be much much worse…. take a look at this article about a US ladybug invasion in Colorado!!

Ladybug invasion Colorado
Now that’s a lot of ladybirds!!

116 thoughts on “How to help the ladybirds in your house in winter

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  1. I must admit that I have never liked ladybirds but having read your article I am feeling a lot more kindly towards them. Perhaps I might even try to make a shelter for them – that is if someone else puts the stray ones in there! Hope you will be feeling better very soon. Ann

    1. I’m delighted to have slightly changed your ladybirds ways. Feeling much better thanks, one of those awful winter bugs – the way you USED to think of ladybirds in fact πŸ˜‰

      1. Hey Been trying to do research on these bugs. 1 entered my home for the winter (Nov) & here it is 5 months later after spring but temps are still low and we have snow on the ground. So letting it go would only kill her. She eats lettuce, water, raisins, sugar, and chicken breast. Who knew? She wont eat any other meats, dried cranberries, yogurt, mozzarella cheese, peanut butter, honey, or other fruits. Maybe shes fussy. We had no clue that these bugs hibernate for the winter so we check each day to see if its still alive. She sleeps a lot but she likes to get a drink and a bite to eat. It appears it washes itself after eating b4 flying around crawling on plants leafs looking for aphids and a dark place to sleep Its pretty cool to photograph them & watch their behavior. It cleans its wings & flies around every night same time but comes back to its resident to get a drink & eat & sleep. Im thinking maybe this ladybird has no intentions on moving on out. Ive had her for almost half her adult life so she should be dead soon. Im running out of food ideas. Its not like i have access to aphids. Thanks for sharing your experience on this subject.

  2. A few weeks ago I discovered a few ladybirds huddled together in the top corner of our bedroom window. I’ve been meaning to Google this for a while and just did so. After your advice,using a soft brush I transferred them into a small pierced empty perfume box which I’d put a few dry leaves in and placed this on our bbq in the outhouse. I hope I’ve done the right thing.

    1. That’s very kind of you Rachel. They’ll have found a cold, high spot like they love but central heating or too early Spring warmth can kill them early. It’s better for them to be in an outhouse etc. Just make sure the box has ventilation, I check on mine once a week abd open the box gently, and don’t forget it in March time. Put it in a high place which gets slowly warmed by the Spring sun to mimic what would happen naturally. Let me know what happens πŸ™‚ x

      1. I’d leave it on its own, moving it seems unnecessary unless the area gets very warm & you think it might dry out over winter. Maybe if so, gently move it with a soft make up brush into an open match box & put in an outside shed high up on a shelf so not too cold, but where it’ll warm up naturally in Spring?

      2. Last year I moved our ladybirds into the summer house in a box with air holes and they all died. ,This year I have left them alone in the corner of the window and have placed a lid with sugar and water on the window cill , they do keep going walk about and then return to the top corner of the window, will keep an eye on them and hope they survive

      3. One year I opened the box and thought all mine were dead. Then I popped them on a branch in the early Spring sun, went off to do something else and when I came back an hour later, all had flown off!! If your room isn’t over heated and you’re happy to have them there, I’d leave them alone to hibernate till March / April. The only issue is when they wake in warm spots in mid-winter and have no food. That’s when they die 😦

      4. I have found 3 today in my kitchen, one is wobbly. I googled how to take care of them and made a little terrarium with shredded paper, foliage, water soaked raisins and card board to climb on…then I read your post…shoot, should I box them up and put high up in shed for winter instead?

  3. Hi,
    I have just the one ladybird, a 7 spotter
    It was in my bedroom, but recently I had an operation and have turned the heating up and it has woken up
    It is now in my bathroom and has been quite active
    Can you give me any advice, I cannot find any friends for it to ‘huddle’ with, so have not put it outside

  4. Hello. I have found a lone survivor on my bathroom floor. I have picked it up and put it in a box lid, on a cool high shelf in the dark. Is it likely to survive alone? Or does it need others/leaf bedding etc. to keep it warm? Any tips you can give me will be most helpful. Thanks x

  5. Some years we have them, some years not. I can’t bear not doing something so I have been searching the web and am going to make them a home. Even if somehow they don’t make it, I will have tried.

    1. I was thinking that maybe putting the ladybugs in a box with lots of holes for air and placing In a moist paper towel for moisture which I would replace when dried out and place the box in a dark area in a garage that is not heated. Would that be a good home for the ladybugs until warm weather is here to stay?

    1. I think it’s a bit cold for them all to appear at the moment, they like to hibernate somewhere warmish like in eaves or top corners of bay windows. Tbh I’ve tried those ladybird houses & not had much luck with them!

      1. Hello! I received the question and answer about the ladybirds. Recently, we had been inundated by them, and I wanted very much to save them. I got a terrarium and added water, food in the form that was supposed to be good for crickets and other bugs. I didn’t use honey because I have to be careful of ants. They seemed quite okay, but slowly began to die, which seemed very sad. I’m not sure what I would have changed, but I wish to try again. Lady bird fancier

  6. I am finding ladybirds in my bedroom and when I can I put them outside on the windowsill, I think they are alive, especially last night as one flew onto my pyjamas while I was reading in bed,perhaps it was the flowers on my pyjamas!
    If i find anymore I will try and put them in a box as recommended.
    It is interesting reading the comments. Edna

    1. Hi Edna, at this time of year I set them free outside as they’re now waking up to go and start finding food! They do fly to the light at night, one landed on my book and scared me to death!! Sian

    2. Dear Moregeous and all,

      It has been so helpful to read what has been written about ladybirds. I can see now that as helpful as I was trying to be, the area where I had them was too warm. I will try again next winter. The question I still have is that no matter how little the container was where I put the water, they seemed to get onto their backs and just flail. The other is that honey has been suggested as a way to feed them, and I am very hesitant to do that for fear of drawing ants. Any ideas? Thanks for the wonderful and helpful words, everyone.
      Kalani Goins

  7. Ladybirds invade my large victorian house every winter. this year I was in trouble as I had had all my window ledges painted and cracks sealed. Now they are happily sleeping in a small – medium wooden box with air holes no sign of life yet still cuddled up will consider letting them out next month .- one so far has ventured out and looks fine. Pleased to hear i am doing the right thing ! Jo

    1. @bobmcmayday; Ladybirds/Ladybugs are in fact a very beneficial beetle. Not only do they pollinate plants (i.e: Vegetation for animals that you might eat, and/or fruits, vegetables, herbs, grains, etc. that you consume yourself) they also eat the bad little bugs (aphids, whitefly, etc.) that harm and can kill these flowering plants. So without these critters, you wouldn’t have a toilet to flush them down, because you’d have no waste byproduct from food and therefore no purpose for a toilet… Are you scared of them? I guarantee you that there exists ‘bugs’ that you should be afraid of, consisting of some that won’t reside in your home if the Ladies have already taken that perfect spot.

    1. No, I make then big enough for air to get into but too small for them to leave the box. That way they all stay huddled up and then I release them mid March time or once I start seeing aphids around for them to eat!

      1. Hello. I am really hoping to save a lot of ladybirds this winter; last winter I was not successful and I felt terrible. I have a kind of terrarium that I plan to put down into an unfinished room that is cooler than the kitchen by far, but does not freeze. I have read that they need some water, but no matter how small the container, they ended up upside down in it. I also read that they need a bit of honey or something, but that will draw ants. I would be so grateful for any help you can give me, and thank you for this site.

        Kalani Goins

      2. I haven’t given any of the ones I’ve popped into air-holed shoeboxes water, just left them in a cool dark place and then taken them outside in early Spring which I start seeing aphids in the garden, on warm day. They warm up and fly off. The more I read & try things out, the more I think the trick is to get them in a box together with air, no heating and decent ventilation, so they keep each other warm. Nothing artificial needed! x

      3. Dear Moregeous, I am so appreciative of your work as I do hope to be more successful this year. It has been a very hard year of drought, and everything is hoping it will break. I will do everything I can for these dear little creatures, and thank you again for your help.
        Kalani Goins

  8. Hi- I found a lady bug in my house and he looked dead – so when I picked him up I saw his little legs moving – now I don’t know if he’s dead or dying or trying to hibernate or is hibernating – how can I tell the difference if he’s dying or if he’s hibernating ? And if he’s hibernating where should I put him ! How do I feed him ? Do I need to care for him daily until March ? He moves around from time to time but he looks funny only 2 or 3 legs come out and he keeps belly flopping on his back or seems to have a problem moving .. How can I tell the difference and what should I do ?

    Thank you

    1. He’ll probably be very tired and half hibernating. Suggest if you’ve got one on his own, lift him with a soft makeup brush, and pop him in a warm spot outside. The warmth usually wakes them up a bit then they naturally find others in a hiding place.
      I only ‘re-home’ my ladybird kids when they all gather together on my big south facing windows.

    2. It’s so sweet of you to be bothered about him btw. They hibernate and don’t eat over winter so you’ll struggle to feed him as such and shouldn’t really need to x

      1. Hi thank you so much for your reply and detailed information to help me with this little guy and thanks for the beautiful comment – I don’t know what it is but whenever I see any animal who is struggling – or suffering or in a need of help or a push I can’t shy away from that ..

        Ok so I’d like to put him outside but it’s not that warm out anymore at least I don’t think so for the lady bug- it’s 6 degrees outside – I’ll have sun during the day tomorrow is it too cold to put him out ? If not where should I put him ? Near a tree ? On a tree ? In some sort of cover ? Which cover ? What if the sun doesn’t wake him up and he freezes to death while the winter comes ?
        And if it’s too cold for him where should I put him ?

        Thank you so much for your Help I have learnt so much on your site about lady bugs – you are sweet to care for them as well

      2. It is getting late into winter now, he might not have the energy to find some pals. They do seem to come round and wake up in full sun, maybe pop him near a bowl of water to get hydrated. Leave him alone in full sun, he probably just disappear off to hibernate πŸ™‚

  9. There’s a ladybird in my toilet room, i’ve stuck an empty cigarette box in the corner and am going to keep the window open (to keep the temperature natural and to possibly allow food to come inside) Anybody more experienced know if im doing good?

  10. I have found a number of ladybirds on the underside of the lid of my Garden Rubbish wheelie bin. Would it ok just to put the bin in my garage until spring or should i transfer them into a box of some kind.
    Jim H

    1. They’ll all gather together to keep warm under the bin lid & I’m sure they’ll be very happy in your garage until March or so when the weather warms. Nice of you to care about them Jim! πŸ™‚

  11. We have about 20 gathered in our ‘cat room'(we have the cat litter trays in there and use it a storage room – the heating is off and the window is about an inch open most of the week) so I’m glad I found this post! I’ll just leave them there till spring as its the coldest room and they seem pretty happy. If I see any more anywhere I’ll take them over 😊

    1. Great to hear Cat-with-cats πŸ™‚ I move them with a soft make up brush so as not to damage their cute little legs, if you find one wandering on a warm window pane, try that #toptip

      1. There is a ladybird on my south facing indoor window sill – on it’s back and it’s wings seem to be protruding. I have turned it over as I have seen it’s legs moving, but it keeps going onto it’s back! I don’t want to keep disturbing it – is this a natural hibernating position for a solitary ladybird and would I be best to move it?

  12. I have brought in a chilli plant to save it from the frost and yesterday noticed a ladybird with its wings fully out(drying them?). I moved plant to a colder room but today it i still there in the same position. Has it woken from hibernation? What should i do? I care more for the ladybird than the plant, there are some aphids on the plant too.Should I put the plant complete with ladybird in the shed?(no windows though)

  13. I am twelve and I looove lady birds and when I found one it was in the corner of my mums room but once I read this I realised it would get too warm and we use that room a lot ! So I made a small box and filled the bottom with leaves then I put holes in it and I put it in my room in a cold cupboard I hope I am doing the right thing

    From belle M

    1. Ahhh hi Belle, that’s so sweet of you. They do tend to like company so it’s best to check that he has lots of oxygen and it isn’t too dry in the cupboard. Maybe a garage or shed is best x

  14. Hi, we have 1 ladybird in our warm living room, am I best moving it to the cooler porch? She keeps walking about on our wall 😦

    1. I’d maybe move singles with a soft make up brush to a cooler spot out of a heated room, maybe somewhere where they can keep cool but not freeze. On a warm day they should have enough energy to find their own comfy spot x

      1. So I’ve had a lone one with me in my room for about 2 days now, and he’s mostly just been doing laps around my table and sleeping.
        I’ve given him little pieces of grape to eat, but I think he’d appreciate something else.

        I can’t find any groups for him to cluster with, and I’m hesitant to let him outside since it’s mid November and 30 degrees outside at best.
        Also, I have heating in the room next to me, but not in my room. I’m not sure which one would be better for his hibernation.

        Is there anything I can do to keep him safe for the winter?

  15. Hi Moregeous, I have a single ladybird on our southfacing large french door frame in the kitchen. He moves about every day. I gave him a soaked raisin and put some soaked paper towel near him. He seemed to eat a long time, sticking his little “nose” in the raisin and moving about after a while to another spot on the raisin. As he is on his own I don’t want to shut him away. I have been doing this for 2 days now. He seems to sleep all night but starts moving about again in the morning. What do I best do for him? Would be grateful for any suggestions x

  16. Hi Moregeous, still going strong. Let’s hope he keeps it up. Got quite attached to the little guy/girl. x

  17. Just thought you might be interested in this…

    2017 New discovery…..LADYBIRDS EAT PEOPLE! I rescued a ladybird while hoovering this morning and kept him/her on my finger so that I wouldn’t hoover him up. I had knocked my finger and there was a little blood. After a while I felt a tickly bit on my finger and saw the ladybird settled at the blood. Looking through my jewellers magnifying glass I could see his little mouth parts moving excitedly and he was pulsating… I wonder if he was very thirsty or enjoying a nice meal. I didn’t grudge him a bit of my blood…but it got a bit sore after a while so I gently took him off.

  18. Hello there all, I have recently moved into a flat, in November. It’s a top floor flat and there are two ladybirds living with me. I must say that it’s an old abbey with wooden staircases and it smells old and damp( part of its charm) The one flies about in my bedroom and the other stays in my bathroom by the window. both were cuddling, or humping the other day. When I go to bed at night, one flies by my ear several time and when I awake in the morning, it is either behind my head on the wall or on the pillow beside me. I’ve got orchids in the bathroom and bedroom so assume they’re hanging about for some aphids.

    1. Definitely huddling not humping I’d say πŸ˜‚ They fly about at night attracted by lights which are on, before we fitted our new windows we’d often get stray Ines buzzing around in our South facing bedroom on warm winter days πŸ™‚

  19. All honesty I am terrified of all insects I don’t kill them…but they scare the living daylights out of me…I have had two ladybirds go flying from somewhere low and suddenly glued to my lampshade and I’ve (my partner) carefully removed them with a small plastic lid and cardboard then put them in the shed in our garden..,Super confused to what we should do if we find more especially since they keep coming from the ground and flying straight up and if putting them in the shed is the safest option for them or if its better to put them somewhere else?
    Thank you very much

  20. I put a couple of ladybirds in a large match box with leaves in December on a high shelf in my shed, went to look at them yesterday and they had died ! Why

    1. Could the air get in and circulate properly Michelle? Also sometimes if there are only two, there might not be enough to huddle for warmth. And also, it might just have been their time x

  21. Hi I’ve been getting ladybugs regularly for the last few years here in the UK.

    They come in my bedroom window and settle in the corners and nestle in the curtain folds. I do have central heating and regularly open my window.
    I try to leave them alone as much as possible. I read that if they start moving around they may be looking for food or water. I now mist my windows and curtains (they are old) and leave little drops of water by active ladybirds. I also cut off slivers of apple and place them by any moving around. They nearly always move towards the food/water and I can watch them drinking/eating. This morning I saw two ladybugs mating! Guess they’re happy.

  22. I have a ladybird in my living room, it’s a warm room, what’s best to do with him? Have put him a a paracetamol box with holes in it and some tissue is this right?

    1. No, I’d pop him in a shed or cool garage and he’ll find a cosy nook to huddle into and hibernate. A warm room with central heating may dehydrate him and kill him off!

  23. Hi,

    I found a ladybug wondering around so we put it in a glass jar and poked holes in the lid, added shredded up pink paper, and tried to feed it a damp raisin. But no matter what we do It keeps going to to the top of the jar. I would love to know why this is and how I can help the ladybug feel more at home.

    1. They always climb up to high places to nestle in, they do this on my windows too. I’d release the beast and let him find his own way! He’ll find his own bugs to eat x

      1. Hello. I have 2 ladybirds in my bathroom. I live in DC and we are having warm weather this week. I am feeding them grapes, which they seem to be really enjoying. At what point should I put them in a matchbox and put them onto a cooler shelf? Or, should I just set them on their way now? It will get hot in my condo over the winter – or, I can put them in a matchbox on the ledge between the storm window & my interior window, where it will be cold. It won’t be consistently cold in this area, however, until next week. I hesitate to put them in a matchbox with no food when it is still warm outside (50-60). Thank you.

  24. I have found a little fellow 2 weeks ago, he has been walking across my living room. I have placed him on my basil plant (also in the living room, temperature on 21 degrees) and I spray the basil with water every day, hopefully he gets hydrated from there. Also, I place peeled grapes for him, on which he loves to spend most of his time.
    In the meantime, a second ladybug appeared out of nowhere. They are sharing the space together, now. They are awake but they don’t leave the basil plant, they are probably enjoying it. My question is, should I leave them be and keep caring for them or place them in our shed, where I have other 40 – 50 of them cuddled up on the floor. I wonder if they would cuddle into hibernation with the others or freeze, because its quite a big difference in temperature, – 7 outside.

  25. Thank you Sian, I have learned so much! While reading this ‘my’ solitary lady bird has disappeared from out of an open lidded wooden tea box so I am hoping he/she has gone up to the skylight corner and back into hibernation. If he/she reappears I will follow your advice. What a charming and informative thread. I hope Bob redeems himself…..

  26. I have just found a ladybird this morning on my dressing table in my bedroom too, I am worried because we are due to have snow tomorrow in the UK and I know she needs to be outside. So I arranged a tissue box with rolled cardboards stacked inside and some hay and putting her in the garden soon, we have a lot of dog roses (aphid heaven) so she will eventually find a lot of food if she survives. I haven’t seen any other ladybirds since October.

  27. Our upstairs has no central heating, only a space heater (old house). One evening, I noticed a ladybug with distinctive markings, hanging out near a small lamp that’s left on all night. I took an empty yogurt container, put it near the lamp and put what I had handy inside – half a strawberry, a bit of watermelon and then soaked a tissue, to put outside of it. She (or he) immediately took up residence in the yogurt cup and refused to leave the fruit, except to walk in circles, around the perimeter of the cup.

    I’ve seen her lean out of the cup to drink from the tissue, actually tilted upside down. I added soaked raisins, which she seems to like. I replace the fruit every day and sometimes change the cup when she leaves it. I also make sure to wet a paper towel or tissue. There’s usually plenty of what I’m guessing is lady bug poo, on the inside of the cup.

    She does go on “walk-abouts” (fly-abouts?), and I have no idea where she is for a day or two, then she returns to her little habitat. She’s been living in my room for about 2 1/2 months. My kids think it’s hilarious.

    Suddenly, a few more ladybugs have joined her (no idea where they’re suddenly coming from). They show no interest in one another, only in the food. A couple of them flew off to the windowsill, so I assumed they were searching for a cooler spot and let them be. I wonder if I’m disturbing their hibernation, by feeding them? I’m also concerned about them freezing in the windowsill, as it’s February. They avoid each other but, now that the group is growing, I’d like to relocate them to their own box, like I’ve been reading about here.

  28. I have lots of ladybugs in our south facing windows. I plan on making them a ‘hibernation box’. It is early April here in Canada and there is still lots of snow on the ground and below freezing temperatures. I have an unheated screened porch that also has closed glass windows. I could put the box out there until warmer weather arrives or I could put them in the basement, which is the coolest room in the house but has no windows. Which would be better and do they need a damp paper towel in the box with them? The wet paper towel would freeze if out in the porch. Thanks for your advice.

    1. Hi Esther, I’ve found it’s definitely the South facing windows which attract them, but yes, the cold weather means no food. The warm early days waked them up prematurely. As long as the box isn’t plastic and sealed they should get enough moisture from the air, mine seem to. A shoe box with holes in it suffices πŸ™‚

  29. Ladybirds live in my house in winter and come out every spring and die everywhere. I mean hundreds of them! On a warm day on one window pane alone I have counted 50 and that isn’t a full size window just one of several. What can I feed them to stop them dying? This happens every year. In the kitchen I notice them having sips of water and crawling on fruit or dishes etc which are by the sink for washing up. Would they like sugar water or honey or something else or must I just pick up dead ones everywhere? My dog helps as she crunches up some of the dead ones!

    1. I think they are dying as they are trapped in a very warm place and can’t get out Rosemary, so they become easily dehydrated and die. They are at the warm window wanting to get out. If you open the windows in Spring to let them out, then more will survive x

  30. Greetings,
    Every spring I find hundreds of ladybugs in “this old house”. I assume that they have awakened and started moving around and are yearning to go outside. However, it can still be quite cold in Maine in April. Will the bugs survive if I put them outside this early? I assume that if there awake and moving around, they’re ready to go.

    1. I tend to wait until I see aphids on the roses etc Marge, then I know there’s food about! But do check the box and see if they’re moving around as you don’t want them to wake up and become dehydrated x

  31. Thank you for this information. I’m in New Zealand and have just come home to 40 or so sleepy ladybirds on our north facing windows, I’ve never seen so many

  32. i found about 40 in the door jamb of our kitchen door – it will get used and they will get disturbed. So i popped them off with a spatula into a fancy paper shopping bag that already had rolled up tissue paper in them. ive put some holes in the bag and left it on a high shelf in the summerhouse. Please say thats good!

    1. They like to be in a dry, dark place, not too cold (outside) but also not too warm or they a) dry up & die and b) wake up too early in spring. From my experience anyway! Well done you for protecting them x

      1. just found a ladybird wandering around in Christmas tree bought yesterday. Could I leave her in our large south facing kitchen where I have a group of plants, palm, banana plant, busy lizzies, geranium and fig, which i spray every day and put occasional bits of fruit out for her to eat or would she be better in our very cold garage in matchbox with holes etc?


  33. Just a update on ladybirds, one came into my home last thanksgiving 2017. I tried searching for info on how to care for one. Waited for spring to let it go, but here in Massachusetts we didnt get a spring. Finally by July 2018 it was warm enough to let her go. Kept her in a plastic container for 8 months. She would walk around the top of her container but refused to leave. In the house we switched our lightbulbs to LED lights for her safety. Flying around the house she was fine with. Recently this past Sept 2018 she finally moved on to ladybird heaven. She loved rasins romaine lettuce & plain chicken breast. This was a fun project yet it took a lot of work. We even found her a friend different sleeping containers, but just for fun i wanted to see how they would interact. It was fun watching them chase each other. Not so much when she laid little yellow eggs that hatched in 4 days. Really tiny & ugly looking, and boy could they move fast. Would of liked to see how they turned into ladybirds, but ladybugs eat their eggs yuck! I do miss having the ladybirds around, and if another enters my home this thanksgiving, i probably wouldn’t do all the work again. She lasted 295 as a pet, 300 days as a house guest took a few days to catch her. Not sure how many days old she was when she moved in last fall, but it is def worth taking on as a science project. Thx for your great advice on how to care for her..haha

  34. great thread thank you. I’ve noticed about 10 ladybirds on our south facing patio door today, they don’t look very sleepy at the minute but if they start to huddle up I will sweep them into a box and put it in the spare bedroom which is rarely used and therefore not heated.

    1. Just make sure you use a soft make up brush to move them so as not damage their little legs, make sure there are air holes and don’t forget to release them in Spring x

  35. Thanks for your good advice. I too have 8 ladybirds huddled up in the corner of my bedroom. I had no idea they hibernated and I did not want to kill them so reading your blog I will now put them gently into a box with leaves and holes and my hubby is going to build me a shelf up high in the garage which is attached to the house so hopefully not too cold. What do you think?

  36. I am finding my lady bugs on my east bay window? should I still move them to a box as suggested and into the shed?

  37. I currently have 10 huddled round my living room light. I was going to set them free but on your advice, matchbox / small box in a cool room on windowsill …(I have no shed / porch or greenhouse as in a 3rd floor flat but one room in the house as always cooler without central heating). Should I put food / sugar solution in the box ? Ie v shallow jam jar lid ? They should be ok till Feb / March ? Thanks for this advice…as a Buddhist we see all life as sacred… I’m always chasing bugs to set free, moths, bees, wasps I know how to save ladybirds too : )

  38. Me again…now I’ve gone round collecting .and of course unfortunately woke them up we now have.. more like 25-30 in their huddle-pot.. I’m wondering now …. with UK weather being milder … perhaps I should release them? What would you advise.? Meantimes food wise…how much food / how often. Would soaking a small piece of cotton fabric in sugar solution be a safer way to feed ?

  39. One appeared on my hand while I was watching TV tonight. It was very settled sitting in the palm of my hand but it could not stay there permanently. I read the advice here but could not find a cardboard box. The ladybird did not like a small polythene tub – it kept turning back onto my hand. So I folded one end of an empty toilet roll tube to close it and persuaded the ladybird to go into it, but it would only run around the edge – it seemed more anxious than on my hand. I put the tube high up on a small ledge under the ceiling in the utility room which is cold and never heated. The tube is open-ended so the ladybird might leave. I hope it will be all right. I have always liked ladybirds.

    1. Hi Stan, that sounds like a great place for him to be, but you might want to make sure he can escape to outside when the weather gets warmer. That’s why I collected all the ones from our old windows and put them together, then released them. Now my house is all renovated and we’ve got less gaps and double glazing, I get far less ladybirds inside – and I kinda miss them!! x

  40. I found a ladybug (in I’m the US, guessing you call them differently over there) frozen to my car window this morning. I had no idea about them hibernating at the time so I put it in my hands and blew some hot air on it and saw its antennae start to move, so I put it in my car for the ride to work. I let the car heat up slowly and noticed it was crawling around, so now I have it in a box sitting on my desk for the time being. It’s supposed to be 48 degrees F for the next two days I was planning on letting it go when it warmed up to those temps, but I don’t know if it’ll have time to find a new place before it drops to freezing again. I’ll probably go put it in my car instead of my desk now that I know it can dehydrate in warm places, and I thought about keeping it in my garage but I heat that up when I work out. I think the best course of action is to let it go and hope for the best, what do you think?

    1. Hi Jarrod,
      Oh that’s so kind of you – you saved his life! I think your garage sounds like a good place, he’ll find a cool place then come out when the Spring starts to warm everything up. It’s the dry internal air from central heating and lack of moisture in the air which dessicates them, which is why outside is better, or in an unheated garage. Good luck! x

      1. My only concern with the garage is the heating and heating of it when I work out will confuse it. That and there are a lot of spiders out there that will wind up trapping it. I can’t believe I’m giving it so much thought Haha. Is it a good idea to try to feed it some sugars and let it go while it’s a bit warmer during the day?

      2. Maybe there’s a bit of the garage cooler than other bits – near the door or away from the heat source? I don’t think ladybirds taste so hot, should be spider resistant πŸ˜‰ Some people keep them and feed them but it’s a lot of work!

      3. Well, to my surprise, it’s still alive in the box I brought it home in. I put a raisin in there and it started munching on it right away. If it’s going to hibernate in the cold, would it make sense to leave it in this box when I put it in the garage, that way it’ll stop it from getting stepped on or stuck somewhere?

      4. If you put in a cool dark place, he’s likely to hibernate. If you keep in a regular cool room and feed & water, he won’t bother going to sleep!

    2. These bugs can’t fly unless its 55 degrees out so your better off saving it in your house. They like romaine lettuce, soaked raisins, & plain chicken breast. Little water on a cottonball. Kept mine for 295 days, so it’s a fun to have one as a pet.

  41. It is really wonderful to know that people care for these little creatures….. Ladybird Ladybird fly away home, your house is on fire and your children are alone I can rem,ember learning that when I was a small child…

  42. Hi! We found some ladybugs in our home waking up way to early (Jan-Feb). We’re in Alberta too, so it was still -20C and yet they were up and about looking for food, crawling around the kitchen. It was very dry and they were in danger of being squashed so I put them in a plastic container with plenty of holes and damp cloths – with some food in case they woke up again (they appear to like honey). And they seemed to go back to sleep as I put the container in a cold, damper room of the houses. But I’m wondering now when I should release them. We have seen some ladybugs outside a couple days ago but no aphids and the weather still dipping to -5C at night, with daytime temperatures below 10C. Do you know if it’s safe to release them or if we should wait until aphids appear? Any advice would be great!

  43. Stumbled on your blog… having spent all evening removing spider webbing from a ladybird, he’s a bit tired now , one more foot to release, so will try again in the morning… plus my eyes ache from toothpick surgery!… I was searching food/drink ideas! Just wanted to add that this is not the first web wrapped one I have rescued.. the others have successfully gone on their way. So if anyone sees one cocooned in spider web , don’t assume it’s dead.. they fold all their legs in and the spiders obviously are unable to “bite” them, therefore with some gentle prying the web can be removed, be careful where head meets body, decapitation not great for them, legs are delicate too BUT it is possible. Todays was a toughy due to one leg … but not giving up! I’m amazed this thread started in 2015.. but glad I found it. Just to add to the mix I strimmed a newts leg off, heartbroken,searched a site called Nurturing Nature and got a reply saying newts grow limbs back! Who knew?? and their feet are called paws, bigger “who knew?”
    I’m now going to have a nose at your other bits on here! BTW have you designed a man-size toilet for Bob to be flushed down? `Bob… seems an appropriate name- sort of floats! πŸ˜‰

    1. Tess, there is no one more amazed than I at how many people love ladybirds and are kind enough to spend time to save them. Good on you for taking the time to execute web surgery! πŸ™‚

  44. We had an aphid infestation and bought ladybugs online.
    I thought they had all flown away – but I’m seeing them in clusters around the garden. How can I help them survive winter?
    Should I collect them and put them in the garage? Or let them be?
    If I put them in a box in the garage – when should I start putting them away? October?

  45. HI, just stumbled on this blog, and hope you are still commenting.

    Found three ladybirds that made their home in my bedroom. I’m afraid the heat will dry them out (we have almost constant heat running sometimes in the winter here). But I’m also afraid to release outside with temperatures around or below freezing. My other option would be to put them in my garage (which is not heated but warmer than outside), possibly with some kind of food. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

  46. This was helpful but i do have a question. I found a ladybug in my bathroom, it was alone so i thought maybe I could take care of it until winters over. I don’t know what to do now, should I let it go back to were I found it, do I leave it in the cage I made for it, or if i should try to find some more to keep the ladybug company and for body heat for hibernation. What should I do?

  47. Hello! I recently found a small ladybug on his own in my room. My mom said it’s too cold and he won’t survive if I let him outside. I kept him in a small cup next to my window and planned on doing more research to see what I should do. It’s now a few days later and I almost forgot about him. I’ve looked at a few websites but I’m not sure if I should keep him. He’s slept a lot since I put him there and today I gave him some honey. I feel really bad for not feeding him earlier. I saw you were still answering people so I want to ask:
    Should I keep him? And if I do what do I need to do to make sure he survives?
    If I keep him I’m going to release him again when it’s spring. He started moving today for the first time since I put him in that cup. I thought he was dead at first. Please help me, I don’t know what I should do and I don’t want this adorable insect to lose his life because I did something stupid.
    (sorry if this is confusing)

  48. Last evening I found a ladybug upside down in 55 degree weather in January at dusk and touched it, and a leg moved. I have 2 pet turtles. Turtles are similar to ladybugs in their shape, which is probably why I feel like helping the ladybug. Because turtles can either be either kept cold and hibernated, or kept warm and fed all winter. I choose to keep my turtles warm and feed them all winter because there is less chance of death that way. So I suspect it would be the same with any animal capable of hibernating, and will try the same with the little ladybug.

    I didn’t know if I could find out how to help the ladybug so I searched and soon grateful to find your website. Besides your information, I was particularly educated by your bloggers, especially the blogger named Kawxyz, who was kind enough to share what foods his/her ladybug liked or didn’t like. I set up a little habitat with mixed lettuce leaves as the substrate last night and fed it a raisin, chicken breast, and the lettuce, and today am reading more of your bloggers advice and experience. I will put the water on a cotton ball or a tissue.

    Thank you, Sian, for this wonderful website!

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