Bug and Insect Symbolism

Updated on May 16, 2016
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Kitty has had paranormal experiences her entire life. These experiences have fueled her passion to write about all things supernatural.


Have you ever seen a ladybug right when you needed a smile? Or perhaps you were waiting for a sign to tell you you're making the right decision when a butterfly of brilliant colors flies by. Is there such thing as bug or insect symbolism?

The Native Americans believed that nature talked to us, that God (or the Great Spirit) sent messages to us through natural things like animals. That includes bugs! So if you're wondering whether bugs have symbolic meaning is a real thing, let me tell you that it's as real as the symbolism of a rainbow or a monstrous hurricane. You just have to be attentive enough to see it. Let's discover some insect symbolism together.


Ladybug have been associated with luck and love. Usually if one sees one, it brings to mind having good luck that day or perhaps that year. Ladybugs also represent love in its purest form. If you see one on your windowsill, it might mean that a lover is dreaming of you and hoping that you're dreaming of him/her. If you find one on your door, a lover will be knocking soon.

Ladybug are generally symbolic of positivity, good luck, and flourishing love.


For many years and in many cultures, dragonflies were looked upon as evil. Some legends said that dragonflies were the devil's workers and would poke out eyes or sew lips shut. They would basically do what the devil told them to do. Other cultures see these insects as sacred and even as spirit guides. This includes the Chinese and Japanese cultures, as well as some Norse cultures. The goddess Freya was said to have dragonflies as spirit guides.

If a dragonfly flies across your path, it's trying to tell you something. It's time to listen! Dragonflies can represent the element of air and tthe "winds of change." Maybe they're trying to tell you it's time to leave the old ways behind and move on to a new path in life. Dragonflies also symbolize peace, harmony, and purity.


Butterflies are something delicately magical. Most symbolism associated with butterflies relate to the ideas of transformation, transmutation, and very often recent or upcoming travel. When a butterfly lands nearby or flutters past, perhaps your spirit is ready to soar to new heights. Or perhaps you are just coming out of your cocoon, ready to shed your old skin and burst forth in the new. This could be spiritually, physically, emotionally, mentally, or all aspects of life.



I've had bees appear in my dreams—not stinging but flying around me constantly. I've even had wasps tap on my office door at my job, as if they were trying to deliver a message to me. What do bees symbolize? Do they have something to tell us?

The bee was a sacred animal in more than one ancient society. They were sacred to the goddess Melissa, who was a priestess of the goddess Demeter. She was thought to have brought honey to the baby god Zeus, instead of milk.

If you see a bumblebee or a honeybee fly by, consider it a sign of good luck—specifically prosperity. It means that some sweet things are coming. Bees also symbolize unity, family ties, and hard-work. They are associated closely with many different flowers and plants, particularly the herb lemon balm (also known as melissa officinalis).

In some Native American cultures, wasps and hornets were a bad sign. They meant that a bad visitor was on his/her way. They also provided warnings of war and other ill-will events. This doesn't mean that if you find that a wasp it means bad luck is coming. For you, they may be good luck! Symbolism is open for interpretation and can vary from person to person. Just listen with your heart.


A female wolf spider.
A female wolf spider. | Source

Many people are freaked out by these eight-legged insects. They do seem quite creepy-crawly and not-so-friendly, but they serve a great purpose in this world.

First of all, spiders get rid of the common house fly as well as other pests, such as mosquitoes and deerflies. They can't be all that bad if they're preventing more mosquitoes from biting our flesh and spreading disease, right?

Spiders represent many things. If you see a black widow, maybe you need to examine how you are treating your family. Perhaps you're spending a ton of time on your children but neglecting your husband. Thank her for the message, but don't get too close. Black widow bits are poisonous to humans!

The symbolism of spiders is full of female energy. Spider Grandmother was a Native American goddess who wove the web of creation (and to some, the first alphabet) according to Native American legend. In India, spiders represented Maya, a goddess who represents Illusion, dreams, and enlightenment.

If you walk through a spiderweb every morning, it is time to study spiders and what they mean. Perhaps it's time to make contact with Spider Grandmother or Maya.

Yucky Bugs

An American cockroach.
An American cockroach. | Source

Beautiful bugs aren't the only insects with symbolic meaning. I interpret stink bug sightings as "something funky this way comes." You'll be presented with a challenge in the near future. And that challenge might stink, perhaps literally but also perhaps metaphorically. It's considered bad luck to step or or smoosh a stink bug for obvious reasons - they stink!

As for cockroaches, as we've all heard they can survive a nuclear apocalypse. Perhaps cockroaches represent survival and steadfastness. If you view cockroaches as a bad sign, they could symbolize destruction and filth.


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  • Paranormalview profile image

    Rosalind Hennigar 2 years ago from Canada

    I know much about Symbolism, but I did not know the in-depths of the bugs. Thank you for highlighting their symbolism , your info was utmost helpful.

  • My Crystal Dreams profile image

    My Crystal Dreams 3 years ago

    My Question is on the Symbolism of " June Bugs"

    I am new at this, so please forgive me if I repeat ; )

    One evening a few weeks ago, I was driving home and as I was pulling into my driveway a large beetle was flying toward me. The moment I seen it , I thought it was odd. Yet I felt it was a message for me.

    It came to me as if it was landing on a runway and the runway was my car. We had been isync on our meeting. We stopped at the same time. It landed close to my window facing me. It made know sound and no movement. I never had seen one before and had no clue to what it was… I waited for it to leave before I got out of my car. Worried it may come after me, I finally got out of the car and quickly went into my home. It did not follow, just slightly moved and stayed in place.

    Just Last night my ex-husband sent me a text saying he had an unusual bug attack him. It was loud and very aggressive , as my ex was sitting outside in black , in the dark and then out of nowhere, it came after him. It really freaked him out , a Large , flying , loud , aggressive beetle that attacked him. The bug landed and he quickly then took a picture , as it had still been loud. He forward the photo to me and killed the beetle just after.

    What do you think the message is. Would it be the same or different for each of us?

  • My Crystal Dreams profile image

    My Crystal Dreams 3 years ago

    june bugs ?

  • My Crystal Dreams profile image

    My Crystal Dreams 3 years ago

    ? regarding JuneBugs Symbolism?

    I have never seen one until a few weeks ago. It was evening and as I was pulling in my driveway, I notice this hug flying bug coming at my car as if he was gliding on to a runway. It was just strange to me. We stopped inSync as it landed close to my window facing me.... It was very large and kind of spooked me. I waited to get out of my car, using my flash light hoping it would flyaway, but it stayed quite and still for sometime. So, I finally went in the house hoping it would not come after me. It didn't!

    Last night, my ex-husband had an encounter with a large JuneBug. Again, he is not familiar with this beetle either. His encounter was very different then mine. He was sitting reading outside and wearing all black .The bug came from out of nowhere and attacked him. He said it was loud and very aggressive and it wouldn't stop. When it finally landed , my ex took a picture of it and sent it to me. Then quickly killed it.

    Because we had different encounters, yet, both of us did. What do you think the message was?


  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

    kalinin - Thanks for reading and for sharing that tidbit on the ladybug...how cool!

  • kalinin1158 profile image

    Lana ZK 4 years ago from California

    I've always been drawn to ladybugs (and share your exceptionalism when it comes to cockroaches). It's interesting that even the name "ladybug" points to their spiritual significance: "Lady" meaning "Lady Mary". In Russian they're called "божья коровка" - god's cow, or god's creature. God is in the name!

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    Positivelypure 4 years ago

    I am typically really afraid of bees and recently I had dreams of bees all around me. I was shooing them away but it was like they were playing with me. I recently started meditating outside and a bee politely sat on my head and then just flew away. I started to realize that they were a positive sign. But now, I recently saw a dead wasp/yellow jacket in one of my plant pots. I know it has to symbolize something, I was wondering if anyone has any insight on it?

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    MysticMoonlight 4 years ago

    I've recently started noting insects and bugs that often visit me now that the weather is allowing for spending time outdoors and it's surprising how these small creatures seem to have so much to say!

    I'm having trouble with feeling it for the spiders, I suffer severe arachnophobia so I respect them for the purpose they serve but I'm sad to say, that's about it! ACK! I have Luna Moths every day, without fail. Bumble Bees as well. Centipedes and millipedes, to which totally eekk me out! Not sure what those guys are trying to tell me but they give me the willys.

    I actually had a beautiful yellow butterfly try to land on my arm recently, what a special moment :)

    I had a dragonfly visit me today, the first time this Spring. I too think they are not evil and sinnister but beautiful and graceful.

    Great Hub, as always, thanks for sharing this information, it's very informative and helpful.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

    MJennifer - Yes, there is much change going on in the world right now...for the good! And I do look at all animals and things in nature as ways to get messages from Spirit or Source energy. It is amazing, isn't it? Many Blessings to you!

  • MJennifer profile image

    Marcy J. Miller 4 years ago from Arizona

    Thank you for that, Kitty -- I never even considered the sign of Scorpio as I was contemplating my fellow desert denizens. They are fascinating creatures and much-maligned by those who don't understand them. Of course, I was one such person until recently, so I can relate to that!

    I particularly enjoyed your thoughts on dragonflies. I was blessed with a huge dragonfly population this past summer -- and more butterflies than I have ever seen before (and I'm a native here). We even had a hornworm migration, which was quite dramatic as hordes of them worked their way (largely unsuccessfully) across the main road. It's been a strange and interesting few months for the insect life, and seems to portent a time of change and discovery.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

    MJennifer - Oh, yes. Scorpions are very powerful and symbolic creatures. Look at Scorpio in the sky, for instance...did you make that connection yet? Blessings!

  • MJennifer profile image

    Marcy J. Miller 4 years ago from Arizona

    Thanks for such a well-done Hub, Kitty. I've always had a bug-friendly home and recently had my own revelations about the many scorpions that share our ranch. In my opinion, they symbolize my relatively new acceptance of creatures (i.e., specific humans) whom I'd formerly viewed as malevolent. I have a somewhat more enlightened view of them in recent months.

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    Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

    Some of us call them ladybugs, perhaps because they are bugs! Some of us call them ladybirds and that is perhaps because they fly! Some people call them lady beetles but whatever we call them! Whatever we call them. they never fail to fascinate us! Interesting hub for a self confessed bug lover like myself to read. Thanks for sharing.

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    Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

    beetlebug - Is it their mating season or hatching season? I would do some research into it first.

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    beetlebug 4 years ago

    help i have June bugs on my porch sings so loud i can't hear the TV and it is January 10, 2013. what the world is this is it a warning sign very strange is that, can anyone tell me why this is.

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    dee 5 years ago

    what about a june bug?

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    That's what it sounds like to me, Ravineyes. I've been seeing a ton of dragonflies lately, as well. Thanks!

  • Ravineyes profile image

    Ravineyes 5 years ago from Buffalo, NY


    Great timing with this interesting hub! Thanks! I always see Ladybugs and think of my dad in the spirit world, I guess that's his way of saying hello!

    Also, the dragon fly was extremely interring, I've been seeing so many of them its crazy, Now I've got to stop and listen. Thanks!


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    Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 years ago from United Kingdom

    How interesting. Only yesterday I very large bumblebee tried to carry me off. (Seriously, he was huge.) He zoomed in very close, hovered in front of me for a moment and then when his merry way. It was kinda cool actually.

    I feel the same as you about cockroaches. Oh, it is awful to type.

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    OldWitchcraft 5 years ago from The Atmosphere

    I don't know what has happened, Kitty. I left a nice comment, but it didn't show up! HubPages has been really glitchy today.

    I don't know if this one will go through, either.

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    DragonflyTreasure 5 years ago from on the breeze.........

    Very interesting! I loved reading this info ? voting up!

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    Anne 5 years ago from Spain

    Hi Kitty. I am a great believer in symbolism, but never knew about insects. I know it´s lovely when a butterfly follows you about or lands on you, and they can be so insistent it make´s you wonder what they are trying to convey, and of course their beauty makes you happy. Very interesting topic. I´going to read the one on birds as I do associate certain birds with bringing a message, in fact so much so, that this hub has given me an idea for one...thanks...life works in mysterious ways.

  • OldWitchcraft profile image

    OldWitchcraft 5 years ago from The Atmosphere

    Great job on this!

    In American folklore, it is said that if you kill a spider in your house a friend will die. That must be why I have so few friends... But, we have some really deadly ones around here that put gaping holes in people. So, if they come into my lair, they suffer the same fate as any prey that stumbles into their own.

    Vote up and accolades!

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    jennzie - Awesome! Yeah, I hear ya. I didn't used to be...still not one of most bugs but dragonflies, butterflies, and lady bugs are different. :) Blessings!

  • jennzie profile image

    jennzie 5 years ago from Lower Bucks County, PA

    Nice hub! I'm not a fan of most bugs, but I love lady bugs. I always get excited (maybe TOO excited) when I find one. Voted up!