Ladybugs are back at East Bay Parks

Ladybugs are back at East Bay Parks

Ladybugs are back at East Bay Parks
Photo courtesy East Bay Regional Park District

SAN FRANCISCO EAST BAY AREA (Oct. 27, 2022) — The ladybugs are back. Ladybugs, more formally known as ladybird beetles, are beginning their annual winter convention at Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, though not in great numbers so far.

As part of their life cycle, the little red insects cluster together in trailside shrubs during cold winter weather, then disperse in the warmer springtime.

Although you can see them in many regional parks and other open spaces, Redwood is probably the most convenient place for viewing.

Enter the park from Redwood Road, about two miles east of the intersection with Skyline Boulevard in Oakland. Park at the road’s end, then walk on the Stream Trail for about a mile and a half to the junction with the Prince Trail. As you approach the Prince Trail, you should start seeing ladybugs on the bushes and fence posts to the left. Look for the ladybug information panel.

Gardeners like ladybugs, because the insects eat mostly aphids, an agricultural pest. But please do not take any ladybugs for your garden. Collecting any animals or plants is illegal in the regional parks.

Food chain

Ladybugs’ bright red color is a signal to potential predators that they taste bad. When threatened, ladybugs secrete an oily foul-tasting fluid from joints in their legs. Nevertheless, frogs, wasps, spiders, dragonflies and some kinds of birds will still dine on ladybugs.

Keep in mind a couple of Redwood park rules. Dogs are supposed to be on leash on the Stream Trail. Please also keep them out of Redwood Creek; though there’s little water in the creek right now, it will be spawning ground for rainbow trout when the rains arrive.

Also, bicycles are allowed on the Stream Trail only as far as Trail’s End, which is about a half-mile before you reach the ladybug habitat.

Ned MacKay writes a regular column about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at