There is a similar, common species of beetle that is a pest, called the Mexican bean beetle. It is very easy to distinguish. Adults have eight black spots on each wing cover. The larvae are also very distinctive, and shouldn't be mistaken for predaceous larvae, because they have large forked spines across their backside. To erradicate this pest use a permethrin based spray on both the foliage and soil.
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Ladybugs, or lady beetles, are a very beneficial group of insects; a single lady beetle may consume as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime. Lady beetle adults have a very characteristic convex, hemispherical to oval body shape. The head is covered by a hood called the pronotum. Many species of lady beetles are present in Kentucky. They may be white, yellow, pink, orange, red or black, and usually have spots. Like many of the brightly-colored insects, ladybugs are distasteful to predators. When disturbed, they may secrete an odorous fluid out of their joints to warn enemies of their distastefulness.