When the Asian Lady Beetle was first brought into the United States, these insects were meant to control the overwhelming spread of aphids and other insects that feed on fruit and crops. And for the most part, these insects have done their jobs and have been beneficial in controlling the population of damaging insects for gardeners and farmers. However, these insects can also be troublesome for people in many parts of the country. What are Asian Lady Beetles? And how can you keep them out of your house and yard?
Asian Lady Beetle vs. the Ladybug
Asian Lady Beetles can often be mistaken for native Lady Beetles. Both species hunt garden pests and can be beneficial to gardens and farmers. These two species are often similar in appearance. However, their slight differences can help you determine which species is which.
Asian Lady Beetles can be identified by their M-shaped, white marking on the top of their head. Their bodies can range in colors from yellow to red-orange, or even black. Asian Beetles have distinct wings that could be completely unmarked or dotted with up to 22 black spots.
In the winter, Asian Lady Beetles will invade homes and buildings to reach a warmer habitat. With aggressive personalities, these insects can also bite. Asian Lady Beetles will also secrete a smelly odor and yellow fluid when attacked or scared, which can affect people with asthma or allergies. The body fluids secreted can also be harmful to dogs if they happen to get the liquid in their mouth or gastrointestinal tract because the liquid is corrosive.
The Asian Lady Beetle can feed on other Ladybugs and Lady Beetle species along with aphids, mealybugs, scales, and other soft-bodied insect pests.
Ladybugs are typically a brighter, vivid red color than Asian Lady Beetles. Ladybugs have a more docile manner and focus on mostly eating aphids. Staying outside during the winter, these insects won’t try to invade your home.
Asian Lady Beetles don’t cause damage to homes or buildings and rarely harm humans. Mainly, they are nuisance pests that can invade your home in large quantities and can leave behind smelly, unpleasant liquid on the walls of your house. Occasionally, if these insects run out of their preferred food sources, like aphids, they will find other food sources in fall-ripening fruit like grapes, apples, and raspberries.
These species might be good at controlling damaging insects, but that doesn’t mean you want them in your home! When fall comes with cool temperatures, you may find large numbers of Asian Lady Beetles outside of your walls, windows, and doors. These insects are particularly attracted to the warmth of the sunlight, so you might find them on the south and western sides of buildings. Once finding a suitable spot, the Asian Lady Beetle will release a chemical pheromone that attracts others to the same location.
Once you start noticing these bugs, it’s important to act before an infestation occurs. Here are some things you can do to keep these pests out of your house:
Vacuum – Because when Asian Lady Beetles feel threatened, they release a scent, it’s best not to go right up and try to squish them or brush them off the walls. Using a vacuum eliminates the potential for these insects to leave the “beetle stain” (or the yellow, smelly liquid) on your walls and allows for quick disposal!
Seal doors, windows, & crevices – At the end of the summer, it’s always a good idea to check around the perimeter of your house for any points of entry that insects might discover. Asian Lady Beetles can fit through openings as small as 1/8th inch in size!
Get rid of their scent – Asian Lady Beetles use pheromones to attract more of their species – and the defense liquid they produce can attract them too. Once you notice these insects, remove them, and then immediately clean the area where you saw them.
Use light traps – In the fall, these insects are known to search for warmth and light. By placing an indoor light trap, you can be sure to catch any of these unwanted guests that manage to sneak into your place!
Ladybugs, or Native Lady Beetles, won’t typically make their way into your home – so you’re most likely dealing with Asian Lady Beetles if you’re spotting reddish/orange-spotted bugs indoors.
Keep Your Home & Property Protected
At the end of the summer, Asian Lady Beetles aren’t the only kind of insects that will want to make their way into your house to stay warm and wait out the winter months. Luckily, DynaTrap® has just what you need to defend your home – in and out. Check out our Facebook Page to share your stories with us and connect with others that may have the same pest issues as you! Never miss a thing when you subscribe to our E-Newsletter to get everything you need to know, right to your email.