How often have you watched a pretty little ladybird beetle (or ladybug) with its orange-red dress, covered with black polka dots, crawl over your fingertip and said: "Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home; your house is on fire, your children will burn?"
These colorful beetles save growers millions of dollar each year. One of their greatest benefits is in destroying tiny insects on citrus trees. Another benefit is in the control of the Colorado potato bug, which is a serious pest all over America. They also eat aphids as well as many other plant insects. So it is not hard to see why the ladybug is welcomed by farmers.
The female, laying up to two hundred eggs, deposits them in cracks of bark or under leaves in areas where aphids live. When the little ones hatch, they immediately devour the aphids. They are sometimes called aphid wolves because of their appetite for these pests. After a few weeks, eating at a great rate, the larva reaches full size and prepares for a change in its life. Instinct, given to it by God, tells it to attach itself by its tail end to the underside of a leaf. There it forms a shiny, porcelain-like chrysalis. Later it emerges as a fully-developed ladybug, able to fly from one place to another, eating harmful insects in great quantities.
Our pretty friend has been provided with two unusual means of escape from it enemies. It can produce a foul-smelling fluid that makes it unattractive to its enemy. If this fails, it can "play possum" and the would-be captor, thinking it is dead, will often leave it alone.
In late autumn the ladybugs hibernate, some going into buildings and some under the bark of dead trees, or other sheltered places. In the western states, millions of them fly long distances to the mountains and hide in the rocks. One group of them was estimated to contain 750 million. In the mountains the dormant ladybugs are hunted by collectors and shoveled into sacks to be refrigerated until springtime. Then they are sold to orchardists and farmers, who are happy to buy them to place among their trees and plants.
God, who created these helpful little creatures, uses them so wonderfully to aid mankind. Should we not also wonder in what way we can serve Him? The Psalmist said: "Serve the LORD with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves" Psalm 100:2,3. The Lord Himself invites us to serve Him. He has said: "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honour" John 12:26. If we know Him as our personal Lord and Saviour, it is indeed a happy privilege to serve Him!
Copied with permission from Messages of God's Love. More articles in The Wonders of God's Creation (Volume 1-4) by Sidney R. Gill, also published by Bible Truth Publishers.