Lady beetles are tiny needles in the vast haystack of Vermont’s fields, gardens, and forests. That’s why we need your help! This summer, you can help us by searching your backyard and gardens. Every lady beetle counts!
We want you to help us kick-off this summer of lady beetle searching by joining our Backyard Lady Beetle Blitz! We are encouraging anyone who is interested in looking for lost lady beetles to find as many beetles as they can in their backyards from Friday May 15th to Monday May 18th and upload photos of them to the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas on iNaturalist. Participating in the Backyard Lady Beetle Blitz is as easy as search, photograph, and upload!
What you will need:
- iNaturalist on your computer or smartphone
- Camera or smartphone for pictures
- A net (optional–helpful for long grass)
- A clear glass jar or container (optional–helpful for close-ups from multiple angles)
- Enthusiasm for finding lady beetles!
How to get started:
- If you have not already done so, please sign up for iNaturalist–this is how you will share your observations with us. If you need help getting started, please read our iNaturalist Instructions or contact Emily at for assistance.
- First, you need to find a lady beetle! Search in your garden or among potted plants, in areas of long grass, on the sides of your house, and in shrubs. Once you find one, use your smartphone or camera to take pictures of it. Ideally, you would take photos from multiple angles (some identifying features are only visible from certain sides), however any photo is better than none, so don’t worry if it’s not perfect! If you have a clear jar readily available, you can use it to get a closer look at the lady beetle by gently placing the beetle inside. Just be sure to release it once you’re done.
- Once you’re finished taking photos, it’s time to upload them to iNaturalist. Go to the iNaturalist app or website and click upload. Make sure the date and location are correct and fill out the species. It’s ok if you don’t know exactly what species is in your photo. Just simply leave it as “Lady Beetle” if you’re uncertain. Next, scroll to the section that says “Projects” or “Add to a Project” and type in “Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas”. A dialogue box will pop up on your screen with a series of questions. They are not required, however they will help us better understand how your lady beetle was discovered. The most important one to fill out for the blitz is habitat–where you found your beetle–but only if you remember where you found it. Once you have answered a question, click “Add” to the right of the box. When done with the questions, click “Add to project”. After you have added the project, upload your observation.
And that’s it!
A couple notes about safety: We expect everyone to adhere to Vermont’s social distancing guidelines while taking part in the Backyard Lady Beetle Blitz. That means that you should only be beetle searching with people you have already been social distancing with. Due to the current Stay Home order, we also request that you limit your lady beetle search to your own property for the time being.
As always, please take measures to protect yourself from ticks.
Lady beetle resources: At this time, we do not have our own illustrated guide to Vermont lady beetles. However, you can find all the species recently discovered in Vermont on iNaturalist or check out our species pages for more information.
After the blitz: We highly encourage everyone to continue searching for lady beetles all summer long! Just keep adding any lady beetle you come across to the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas.
Questions? Contact Emily at with questions regarding the Backyard Lady Beetle Blitz or summer survey.