Identification of Lady Bugs
Lady Bugs Habits |
Ladybug Control Measures
Ladybugs, or lady beetles, are normally beneficial insects in that all active stages are predators of garden pests like aphids and spider mites. In other words, we want lady beetles in our gardens. The problem happens when adult beetles try to enter our homes in the fall with the purpose of sheltering there until spring.
Most lady beetles head for the hills in the fall and shelter in natural cavities. A new imported species, the multicolored Asian lady beetle, likes to spend winters at lower elevations and our houses happen to be very handy. If they gain entry they can be a pest all winter. They do no direct harm but some believe they contribute to indoor allergies and they can be very messy.
It is important to prevent them from overwintering in your homes by spraying during the Fall months.
- The ladybug, commonly called the Asian lady beetle
is a pest as well as a beneficial insect.
- They are really only a pest by their presence.
- Ladybugs do not feed on or damage anything in the home.
- Ladybugs do not carry diseases or sting, nor can they
However, when large numbers of them take up residence in a home, they
will crawl all over the walls, windows, light fixtures and any other
- IDENTIFICATION OF LADYBUGS:
Adult Asian lady beetles are oval, convex, about 1/4-inch long, and
pale yellow-orange to dark orange-red.
Although general body shape is usually similar, there are differences
in size and coloration between ladybug species, although in the United
States they are usually red or orange with black markings.
Because ladybug are tree-dwelling insects, homes and
buildings in forested areas are especially prone to infestation. Suburban
and landscaped industrial settings adjacent to wooded areas have also
had large asian beetle aggregations.
Asian lady beetles (LadyBugs) congregate in large
numbers during the late fall rather than disperse to over winter individually
under bark or in leaf litter, as do most lady beetles.
Asian lady beetles (LadyBugs) prefer to cluster on the sides of homes
and other buildings, eventually working their way into the building
through small cracks or crevices, or natural breaks in the window
panes, door jams or foundations as the temperatures decrease. They
are seeking a suitable place to spend the winter (over winter).
Once inside the building, ladybugs hibernate, until the first warm
days of late winter or early spring, when they seem to come to life
again and begin crawling about.
Asian beetles tend to be attracted to lighter colored buildings and
especially to those that are illuminated by the sun (typically the
south or southwest side of the structure).
Darker colors and buildings in the shade are less likely to have problems.
After spending the winter months tucked away in a wall void or other
secluded place, they have simply forgotten how they got in.
When they become active in the late winter, lady bugs often find themselves
inside the home rather than outside.
At this time ladybugs are merely looking for a way to escape to the
This reawakening may take place over several weeks, depending on temperatures
and the size of the population.
Recommended Ladybug Control Measures:
Once ladybugs have become established in the home, there aren't a lot of
chemical treatment options.
The easiest way to remove ladybugs, once they are indoors, is with a vacuum
, is the best of all choices. To help prevent asian lady beetles, cluster flies, box elder bugs
and similar pests from entering in the fall, spray outdoors using a fast-acting synthetic
pyrethroids such as D-Fense SC or Demon WP.
This is done during the Fall
time. Generally spray the south and south west exposure of the house. Spray from the ground up as high as you can go.
Recommended Products: Residual Insecticides, Aerosols,
D-Fense SC with deltamethrin is a long residual insecticide and does not break down easily outside on wall surfaces. It is odorless and does not leave a stain. D-Fense SC combines the extended control of a microencapsulated formulation with a powerful knock down to provide long lasting control. This product is a controlled release insecticide with little to no odor.
Cyper WP is an odor less product just like D-Fense SC, but will leave a visible residue seen against dark surfaces
Spray with the residual insecticides around eaves, attic
vents, windows, doors, under-fascia lips, soffits, siding(including under
lips) and any other possible points of entry, concentrating on the south
and the southwest sides .
Spray with fan pattern from a garden
pump sprayer such as
B&G 10PV Dura Spray 1 Gallon Sprayer.
Spraying the southern and western walls is helpful when lady bug
populations are high. Remember that heavy duty infestations require heavy
In addition to the residual insecticides Bifen IT, Cyonara 9.7, and Suspend SC listed above you may want to use dusts and aerosols,
if they have invaded the home.
D-Fense Dust (Weather resistant)
D-Fense Dust can be used to treat wall voids if there is no insulation
to impede the spreading of the dust.
It can also be placed around switch plate covers and electrical outlets
as well as plumbing openings.
The dust and aerosols should be applied to indoor cracks,
crevices, wall voids, hiding places and entry points.
CB 80 aerosol contains pyrethrums, which is a contact killer.
It would be useful to spray the ladybugs directly on contact to get a
Cb 80 Aerosol has a crack and crevice applicator which allows you to treat
around windows, molding and light fixtures.
Shady areas are less likely to attract lady bugs.
Mechanical means of exclusion:
- Sealing ladybugs out by caulking cracks and around
utility service openings, fixing broken window screens and door jams,
plugging cracks in the foundation or roof as well as similar exclusion-type
activities will help prevent the asian beetles from entering in the