How Do You Stop a Ladybug Infestation?

Summer is just around the corner, and that means the return of many animals and insects from the long winter slumber. Of course, this also means that any “overwinter” pests that found their way inside your home at the start of last winter will be ready to emerge.

One of these unwanted tenants is the cute little spotted beetle known as the ladybug. Or, at least you might think your home is being overrun by ladybugs. With over 5,000 species of ladybug over the world, it can be easy to mistake this docile garden resident with another species that can be much more troublesome. If you are having a problem with ladybugs in your home, here are a few things you should know.

The Trouble with Ladybugs

The ladybug, also known as the lady beetle or ladybird beetle, is often confused with an invasive species called the Asian lady beetle. While ladybugs are helpful garden pest exterminators, they tend to be more docile insects. They tend to stay outside when the temperatures drop.

Asian lady beetles, on the other hand, overwinter bugs. While they perform the same function as a typical ladybug, these insects tend to be a bit more aggressive. They can even bite. As overwinter pests, the Asian lady beetle will hide out when temperatures drop and reemerge in the Spring. They tend to amass on windows, lights, and other areas with warmth and light.

How to Keep Ladybugs Out of the House: 9 Tips- identify the culprit

Identifying the Culprit

Ladybugs are harmless and helpful. Asian lady beetles are not so beneficial. They both consume garden pests like aphids and don’t congregate in large numbers, but the Asian lady beetles seek shelter outdoors.

The Asian lady beetle came over in the 1970s. They are brownish-orange in color, not the vivid red like ladybugs. They are bigger and can be identified by the white M on their heads. Lady beetles also let off a strong scent to alert other beetles of danger. This pest multiplies quickly and often leaves behind yellow stains. Where normal ladybugs die off in the fall, the Asian lady beetles hibernate.

They enter buildings in the spring or as winter approaches. These pests amass in dark, warm, secluded places and they are more aggressive than normal ladybugs. They can attack non-pest insects and be dangerous to pets, especially if you have a curious cat or dog that intends to taste test them.

The sheer quantity can get stuck in their mouths, but aside from that, they aren’t typically dangerous. Still, having a stinky mass of beetles swarming around your windows isn’t pleasant. If you find yourself with an Asian lady beetle infestation, here are nine tips to help you put a stop to them.

1. Winterize your home

The best way to stop an Asian beetle infestation, as well as many other pest issues, is to winterize your home. Don’t give them a way in. Plug up holes, seal doors, and caulk your windows. Inspect your home’s exterior and interior to make sure there is no way for them to get in. If they can’t find a way inside, there’s no need to worry about an infestation.

2. Keep A Garden

A simple way to keep them outside is to provide ladybugs with a place to feast. Give them an alternative to your home by planting a garden. Ladybugs and Asian beetles both love feeding on garden pests, like aphids. It doesn’t matter if you are planting edible treats for your family or lovely flowers, having flora around your home can be enticing enough to keep these insects out.

3.  Plant Mums

If you don’t want lady beetles anywhere near your home or garden, or you don’t want to go through the effort of planting an entire garden, try planting or potting some mums. Lady beetles do not like mums and will avoid them. If you want to ward these pests away, keep plants just outside the house at entry points: the doors, the windowsills, or even make a window box. Mums are a simple, inexpensive way to keep the lady beetles away.

4. Act Immediately

Sometimes, even with all the prep, you can find yourself face to face with a lady beetle infestation. The best course of action is to act quickly once you notice them. Asian beetles multiply quickly. Your infestation can easily go from manageable to overwhelming. Don’t wait for it.

5. Vacuum Them Up!

A quick and easy way to dispose of Asian beetles is to vacuum them up. This method will not kill the pests, but it will make it easier to transfer them out of your home. Before sucking them up, be sure they are going into a sealed container whether it’s a vacuum bag or a closed container. After you have sucked them all up, you can seal the bag, take them outside, or dispose of them.

How to Keep Ladybugs Out of the House: 9 Tips- plant a garden to keep them away from your home

6. Diatomaceous Earth

If you want to kill the Asian beetles, and a few other pests like stink bugs, you can use diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth is a powdery substance that is made of fossilized remains of algae and abrasive properties. Basically, this substance dehydrates insects to death. This substance is non-toxic to human and pets, but it is very effective at killing many different pests.

7. Remove The Scent

If you don’t want to kill your little invaders, you can try to ward them away by removing their scent from your home. Asian lady beetles have a distinct odor. Try to hide it with citronella or citrus oil. These scents act as a repellent for lady beetles, and if they can’t smell their home, they will look elsewhere.

8. Try Cloves Or Bay Leaves

If you want to get to work at repelling these annoying little pests but don’t have any of the items listed above, look no further than your spice cabinet. Cloves or bay leaves are two spices that Asian beetles can’t stand. Place these spices near windows and other infested areas to shoo away your ladybug infestation.

9. Spray Them

Asian lady beetles are found in large numbers. A good way to get a bunch of them all at once is to spray them with a spray bottle. Fill your bottle with citronella or soapy water. This will not only deter, and possible kill quite a few of these insects, but the scent will keep them from coming back. It’s a simple and quick way to get rid of these unwanted pests.

How to Keep Ladybugs Out of the House: 9 Tips- spray them

Keeping Pests Out

In the long run, Asian lady beetles are more annoying than harmful. That doesn’t mean they belong in your home. They stink, they can bite, and they multiply like crazy. If you want to get rid of your infestation, and you’ve exhausted all these methods, consider reaching out to a pest control expert. Enjoy your bug-free summer and stop lady beetles from encroaching on your property today.

 


 

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