In Europe the term ladybird is most common. In the United States more people use the word ladybug instead of the ladybird.
Lucky Ladybug: Superstition
If a ladybug lands on you, be careful not to brush it off. Stay very still and count the spots. The number of spots will reveal the number of months you will enjoy good luck.
The stronger the color red is on the ladybug, the better your luck will be.
Others believe you get to make a wish if a ladybug lands on your hand. The number of spots will be equivalent to the number of months (some say years) before your wish comes true.
Ladybugs as a symbol of protection
During the Middle Ages it was common belief that the ladybug symbolized protection.
Stories were told about farmers who were desperate because aphids were ruining their crops. The farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help.
The Virgin Mary responded to their distressed situation and sent thousands of ladybugs to annihilate the aphids, thus saving their crop.
The ladybird has been and still is used as a talisman for safety and protection against all harm.
As a symbol of keeping the person wearing images of ladybugs safe and healthy we can see why ladybugs on baby and child clothing is consistently popular.
Knowing the ladybug symbolism also includes love, joy and prosperity, any person would happily give gifts with ladybug images on them.
Ladybug Symbolism: Love
Common folk belief tells that if a ladybug/ladybird crawls over an unwed woman’s hand, she will be married within a year.
This lady-fly I take from the grass
Whose spotted back might scarlet red surpass?
Fly, lady-bird; north, south, or east or west
Fly where the man is found that I love best.
John Gay, The Shepherd’s Week – 1714
Ladybug Symbolism and the Newborn Baby
As mentioned earlier ladybugs bring security and good fortune, but there is still another reason why babies should have something containing ladybug symbolism.
Ladybugs are considered very lucky for babies
It is said ladybugs showers the baby with auspicious blessings.
In Italy the ladybug has been given the nickname “commaruccia” which translates “little midwives”.
The ladybug symbolism of abundant blessings has led to ladybugs being ever popular on all clothing and all kinds of other stuff for children and adults alike.
Ladybugs as a symbol of self-reliance
All though the ladybugs may be tiny creatures, they are well capable of protecting themselves from larger predators.
When the ladybug is endangered it will release a ghastly scent which the predator will find so repulsive it will go elsewhere to find its next meal.
After observing this kind of action, people have said that the ladybug is a good example and a symbol of self-reliance no matter how small a creature is.
Ladybug and the Virgin Mary
It has long been claimed in folklore that the ladybug was a favorite to the Virgin Mary. This little create has been associated with Mary, mother of Jesus for centuries.
Some say the seven spots on ladybugs represent the Seven Sorrows of Mary; others say they represent the Seven Joys of Mary.
Killing a ladybug
Killing a ladybug is considered extremely bad luck.
If you should be so unfortunate you killed a ladybug it is told you will be in the Virgin Mary’s Bad book for nine days. This is certainly not something to desire.
In the Netherlands ladybird images are used on street tiles to symbolize a protest against irrational violence.