Can Parrots Eat Ladybugs? They Are Toxic

It’s almost summertime, and ladybugs are everywhere. I find them in my house, room, and even my parrot’s cage. This leads me to a logical question: What happens if my parrot eats a ladybug? Are they poisonous or not? Hopefully, my parrot won’t eat it, but you never know!

The good thing is – one or two ladybugs are not dangerous for a parrot. However, in significant numbers, they can poison your parrot. So, make sure your bird doesn’t eat them regularly. Luckily enough, ladybugs are not tasty. Your parrot probably won’t eat another one for a long time after the foul taste in its mouth! If it eats one by mistake, I wouldn’t worry about the bird; it’ll probably spit it out anyway.

Ladybugs have created a powerful method that diverts any predator from their kind – they taste horrible. In this article, let’s find out the tiny insect’s secret and what can actually happen to your parrot!

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Are Ladybugs Poisonous for Parrots?

are ladybugs toxic for parrots

Ladybugs do release a yellow fluid from their legs’ lands (also known as reflux blood) that tastes foul and can be dangerous for predators in large amounts. But, mostly, one ladybug will just taste bad for the bird, and your pet won’t eat one again.

There are several thousands of kinds of ladybugs on Earth; did you know that? And all of them have varying amounts of toxins in their tiny bodies. As a rule of thumb, the brighter the insect is, the more poisonous it is. This rule applies to many living organisms on our planet; ladybugs are not an exception.

The most toxic are orange ladybugs, then black, and after that red. Blown ladybugs are the least toxic as they mostly rely on camouflaging as a form of protection. However, even one orange ladybug will not harm your bird. The reflux blood secreted when the insects feel threatened does contain toxins and tastes terrible. Your parrot will hardly want to eat another ladybug anytime soon.

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My Parrot Ate a Ladybug: What to Do?

parrot diet safety

Any owner will be stressed if their pet eats something strange and potentially dangerous. A whole living organism with its protective tricks is even scarier. Thus, you need to know how to react and help your bird.

If you notice it eating a ladybug (even an orange one) but can do nothing to stop it, just sit with your bird for several minutes and observe it. Your bird should be perfectly fine; it’s just a precautious measure. And even if it’s been two bugs, your pet should be alright.

Now, if you suspect a greater number of “flying snacks” (although highly unlikely due to their foul taste), stay with your bird longer. Check for worrisome signs such as lethargy, mood swings, swellings, energy loss, etc. As an owner, you already know your parrot’s habits and can tell when something is wrong.

Obviously, if you notice any unusual signs, call your vet, describe the issue, and follow their instructions. Also, remember to offer your bird plenty of fluids at this time.

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How to Get Rid of Ladybugs at Home?

do parrots eat bugs

Now, let’s start with the ways to prevent ladybugs from entering and generally being attracted to your home.

The first tip is to put those nets on windows and doors designed specifically for keeping insects out of your home. Also, put screens on all other openings as well.

Plus, if you have a garden or grow plants indoors, you better remove those that attract ladybugs: fennel, parsley, calendula, chives, cilantro, etc. (herbs are safe for parrots in general)

On the contrary, mums and lavender deter ladybugs. Plus, lavender-scented and lemon-scented diffusers or other house stuff will do wonders in keeping ladybugs at bay. Though, I suppose mums are not the best choice in a house with parrots – their leaves are poisonous to the bird. Try them better for the garden.

Not that you’ve sealed your house and made everything to deter new ladybugs, it’s time to exterminate the ones that are already in.

First of all, I recommend catching ladybugs and setting them free somewhere far away from your home. And it’s not only about the humanistic points, though partially about them as well. When you kill a ladybug, it leaves that toxic secretion around the place, which is obviously dangerous if you have a pet at home. Thus, letting those bugs go is a win-win situation!

As a trap, you can use natural light! Ladybugs are attracted to light places, and you can easily catch them on a bright spot on your couch or walls.

You can also spray the locations with vinegar if it’s not a couple of stray ladybugs. If the issue is even worse, put diatomaceous earth around the windows and the doors. In time, it’ll dry out and kill the bugs.

Finally, call a pest service to deal with it professionally if the issue goes out of hand.

Act as fast as possible because ladybugs release pheromones that attract other ladybugs to their location!

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All in all, ladybugs are not as dangerous for your parrot as it may seem. Large infestations of these insects at homes are not typical and can be dealt with via pest services. In a regular home, when you see some stray ladybug in your house once in a while, you have nothing to worry about. If your parrot eats a ladybug, pay close attention to the bird just in case!