Until recently, a ladybug in the house was supposed to bring good luck, but having a swarm of today’s Asian Ladybugs in the house makes the owner feel anything but lucky. These unwelcome guests move into your home in late September and in early October and intend to hibernate until spring.
The Asian Ladybug was brought to the United States by the USDA, United States Department of Agriculture, in the 1970s. Its original purpose was to aide the farmers as these bugs eat aphids, scale bugs, and green bugs that prey on crops. For example, Asian Ladybugs have saved the pecan crop in Georgia. The problem with them in the United States is their overpopulation. Without any predators, natural enemies, they just keep multiplying.
Recognizing the Asian Ladybug
Dome-shaped and yellow-orange to red in color, the Asian Ladybug has nineteen spots on its back. If they’re in your house, you’ll be able to recognize them for they all hang together in a group. They may even give you a bite.
With sharp, little teeth and strong legs that hold on to the victim, Asian Ladybugs will cause some discomfort. Experts vary on whether their bite is an attack or just a way for them to become aware of their surroundings. It’s more likely a bite when they feel threatened.
Ridding your Home of Asian Ladybugs
Not many experts recommend pesticides, as these bugs keep coming and going through tiny cracks in your foundation, ill-fitting windows, and crevices. Continuous spraying is unhealthy in your home as pesticides settle on furniture and rugs and toxicity grows. But if you must spray, confine it to the outdoors. Spray where they congregate outside your home. Some suggested products are permethrin or esfenvalerate, forms of pyrethroid insecticides. These are the only ones proven effective.
Apples are an organic way to rid your home of these ladybugs. Simply hand apple slices from the ceiling. The bugs will congregate on the apple slices, and you can remove them. Change the apple slices every 4 7 days.
Sealing up all the crevices and cracks in your home is the best way to rid yourself of these pests indoors. Pay special attention to the crevices around a window frame or a door frame. If possible, extend your work to include cracks in the siding and in the roof. You might also vacuum them up, but be sure to place a towel in the bottom of the vacuum’s canister. You don’t want to crush them: They give off an obnoxious smell. Empty the canister far from your home; hence, you relocate them.
If you can invest in a product to remove them from your home, the United States, ironically, has invented one. Asian Ladybugs are attracted to black light. Their product utilizes black light to lure the Ladybug into a non-adhesive bag. Then you just take the bag far from your home and dispose of it.
Another commercial product is the BioCare Trap, comprised of a UV light and pheromone. If you don’t want to relocate the Asian Ladybugs, simply add soapy water to the trap to neutralize their obnoxious smell and to eliminate them.
Long Term Solutions
Light colored buildings and sunny walls attract these bugs. Shading the south and west side of your home with trees will also aide in their control.
They’re Here to Stay
Unless some very unusual weather conditions hinder the supply of aphids, the Asian Ladybug will continue to thrive. Beneficial to your garden, but a nuisance in your home, their existence in the United States has become a two-sided coin.