Ladybugs also referred to as lady beetles or ladybird beetles, are natural enemies of several insects. They particularly enjoy feeding on aphids and other sap feeders, and can eat up to 5,000 aphids in their lifetime.
What are ladybugs?
Their bright orange to red backs with black spots serve as a warning to other predators that they are poisonous. Luckily, they are not poisonous to humans and pose virtually no threat to us whatsoever.
Swarms in the Fall
As winter approaches, you may see swarms of Asian lady beetles, Harmonia Axyridis(Pallas), leaving their summer feeding sites in search of a protected area to overwinter. These swarms are typically seen from September to November depending on temperatures. They will then overwinter and reemerge as things warm up in late winter/early spring.
Lady bugs In your NJ or PA home?
As previously stated, ladybugs are not harmful to humans. However, they may be a nuisance. Should a swarm of Asian lady beetles choose your home as their shelter for the winter, they will not reproduce, attack wood, food, or clothing. However, they may emit an unpleasant scent and leave yellow stains from the secretions they emit when disturbed. It is also possible that their presence may set off your allergies, and if handled, they will sometimes bite to defend themselves.
Once they are inside the best way to get rid of them is with a good old vacuum cleaner. Place a cloth between the vacuum dust collection and hose if you would like to set them free outside. The other, less effective option is to use a broom, but you are more likely to end up with yellow stains from the stressed out beetles.
Keeping them out of your home
The best way to prevent them from getting in is to eliminate potential entry points. Seal any cracks around doors, windows, fascia boards, soffits, wires, utility pipes, etc. You should also repair damaged window or door screens and put in screening behind attic vents. Lastly, make sure all of your doors are tightly fitted, installing door sweeps or thresholds if necessary.
In the event that you happen to have a ladybug problem that is out of control, we can help. Please give us a call at 1-800-949-2667 to learn about our service options for controlling ladybugs.