When we bought lettuce two weeks ago, we were unaware of an insect hiding deep within its leaves. As I plucked the last leaves this morning, out came a ladybird beetle; it was in our fridge all this time. This lady beetle is different from the ones I see around our yard, it is the Convergent lady beetle (Hippodamia convergens) that is popular in the United States and Western Canada. The Convergent lady beetle is easily identified by the white lines that converge behind the head. It may have a full complement of 13 black spots or only a few. Convergent lady beetles are the most widely used beneficial insects for controlling pests, and they are usually sold for the biological control of these pests. Each adult beetle will consume approx. 5,000 aphids (whiteflies).
They also feed on other bugs, larvae, thrips, weevils, worms, mites and many other soft-bodied insects and eggs that reside above the soil. If I had known all these things about Convergent lady beetles, I wouldn’t have squished the one I found. Sigh!