Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Can they fly if

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QUESTION: Today my mom (age 88) saw two lady bugs sitting outside on the dining room windowsill and flung them off the windowsill and I want to know can a ladybug save itself by spreading its wings and flying if someone does what my mom did. What she did really upset me.

ANSWER: Hi Debbie,

Yes, lady bugs can fly, so I wouldn't worry too much about what your mom did.

Best,
Jessica

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you.  I have another question. I rescued two ladybugs (not the ones my mom flicked off the ledge). The two I rescued are safe in a home I created for them. I am feeding them small amounts of sugar, however, they arent drinking or moving around.  They are perfectly still, color is great. How can I tell if they are dead or alive?

Answer
Hello Debbie,

Pick them up and look at their legs. Are they moving? If not, they could still be alive, but they probably aren't doing well. In fact, if they are not moving around the enclosure, they are probably not well. Insects do best outside instead of in man-made enclosures, so my recommendation is to let them go.

Thanks for the questions.

Best,
Jessica

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jessica Mellinger

Expertise

I can answer questions about invertebrates native to California, including insects commonly found in homes. If you have an identification request, please attach a photo to your question.

Experience

I was involved in collection and identification of invertebrates for the United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division for six years. Also, I provided these same services intermittently for the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment for many years. I have been a member of AllExperts.com since 2009.

Organizations
Department of the Interior: United States Geological Survey, Davis Field Station; University of California, Davis Aggie Alumni Association; UC Davis Center for Neuroscience; U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs

Education/Credentials
I have two B.A.'s from the University of California, Davis and two Associate's degrees from Sacramento City College.

Awards and Honors
Special Thanks for Achieving Results award from the Department of the Interior

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