If your home is suddenly full of ladybugs, don’t worry. They aren’t a sign of a harsh winter to come, and they aren’t bringing you good (or bad) luck. When ladybugs find their way into our homes, they are simply seeking a warm place to hide from cool nights.
Ladybug or Beetle?
There can be some confusion over whether your house guest is an American Ladybug or an Asian Lady Beetle. Both species look alike, and can have similar behaviors. American Ladybugs have a shiny black pronotum, which is the area between their head and body, which has two white circles. Their bodies are dark red with black spots. Asian Lady Beetles pronotum has a distinctive “W” shape. Their bodies are orange or yellowish with black spots.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do ladybugs eat?
Ladybugs eat mainly only one thing—aphids. Aphids are small, green, soft-bodied insects that feed on plants. They can be incredibly destructive to crops, causing some farmers to release large amounts of ladybugs into their fields to take care of aphid problems. Aphids come in several colors, and not all ladybugs like every “flavor” of aphid. Ladybugs are also known to eat plant mites and scale insects.
Are ladybugs poisonous?
Ladybugs are not poisonous to humans, but may make some pets ill if they eat or lick them. Ladybugs produce a foul odor meant to warn off predators.
Why do ladybugs come inside during the winter?
The answer is simple—ladybugs are looking for a warm place to spend the winter. Light colored houses and the heat they reflect are attractive to ladybugs. Once a ladybug has found a safe and warm home, it will emit pheromones to attract the rest of its colony to its location. These pheromones are very powerful, and can be detected up to a quarter of a mile away! These pheromones can stay on a house for years to come, letting passing ladybugs know that your house is safe and warm.
Will ladybugs eat anything in my house?
Since ladybugs only eat aphids and other small creatures, they will not cause any destruction to your house.
What should I do with the ladybugs in my house?
If there are only a few ladybugs in your home, there is no need to do anything. If you would like to get rid of them, simply vacuum them up and dump them back outside. For larger infestations, contact a pest professional.
The easiest way to prevent ladybugs from entering your home is to seal all cracks and crevices. This includes the spaces around windows and doors, gaps in siding, spaces around utility pipes and wires and behind chimneys. Replace any damaged screens on doors or windows.
If your ladybug infestation has become a nuisance, contact Dodson Pest Control. Our team will provide a free inspection before beginning treatment to ensure that you are getting the most effective course of action.