Ladybugs start as out as little eggs -- orange or yellow oval-shaped eggs, to be exact (it's a colorful life for a ladybug).
Egg laying takes place in the spring or summer, when female ladybugs disperse in search of prey. The ideal place for these ladybugs-to-be is on a protected spot (a plant stem, for example, or the underside of a rain gutter) near a colony of delicious aphids or mealbugs.
A ladybug produces anywhere from 20 to 1,000 eggs during the egg-laying season, usually about 10 to 50 eggs in each cluster [source: Weeden, Shelton and Hoffman; Thomas]. How long it takes an egg to hatch depends on a variety of conditions, but it usually doesn't take more than a week and sometimes only a few days. Little alligator-looking things -- ladybug larvae -- hatch from the eggs. And the first thing they do is eat their own eggshells.