Asian ladybugs are invasive species that have overtaken native insects. Asian Lady Beetles make a great snack for birds, which is why they can be found in large numbers on trees and other vegetation where birds perch.
It's also possible to find them indoors because these ladybugs are attracted to light. If you're seeing large numbers of this insect on your property, it could mean there is an infestation nearby or inside your home or business.
If you have noticed an increase in the number of these bugs, it's time to take action, or else your garden will be overrun with them. Use the guide below to repel these insects without harming pets, children, or yourself.
What Is Asian Lady Beetle?
Asian lady beetle is a predator of many pest insects, especially aphids. It is a medium-sized beetle with a black head and body. The upper wings are orange, but the lower wings have a covering that resembles white ladybugs. One easy way to identify them is by looking at their legs. Asian lady beetles' front legs are longer than back legs, while common ladybugs are the opposite.
The Asian lady beetle is a pest native to Asia, where it lives in trees, fields, and orchards and feeds on aphids and insect scales. It's believed that this beetle species was introduced to the northeastern United States in the 1960s by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish the Asian ladybug as a natural control mechanism for agricultural pests.
Some scientists also believed it was introduced earlier to the U.S by accident via a freighter from Japan to New Orleans.
Asian lady beetles pose a problem when it comes to being able to enjoy the outdoors during the summer months as their population increases rapidly over time, with winters warming temperatures across much of North America. As they increase, they make homes more hospitable for insect pests like aphids, who serve as a food source for Asian ladybugs.
Asian lady beetles do not cause much damage to homes or home landscapes, but they often enter homes to seek warmth in cold weather. Once they get inside, Asian lady beetles crawl or fly around rooms and land on wall voids, windows, and furniture. Like other ladybugs, Asian lady beetles secrete a yellowish, smelly fluid if disturbed, which can stain walls, furniture, and fabrics. Asian lady beetles may also bite if they land on the skin.
The Asian Lady Beetle Life Cycle
The Asian lady beetle goes through four stages in its life cycle. These include egg, larva, pupal, and adult. The average time from egg to adult is 1-2 months. Depending on the region and habitat, they can produce more than a single generation per year and live up to three years.
Female Asian beetles lay their eggs in spring and early summer. Eggs are laid in clusters on the undersides of plant leaves near colonies of aphids, mites, and scale insects, which will be the main food source for the larva once hatched. As the larva grows, it sheds its outer skin around four times before making its transition from a larva to a pupa.
The pupa is in shiny golden color and appears wet. It's extremely vulnerable at this stage while it awaits the hardening of its exoskeleton. Once hardened, the Asian ladybug is an adult and will reveal its true colors and markings.
Asian Lady Beetle Benefit
One of the benefits you can get from lady beetles is getting rid of aphids. But for you to learn how to get rid of aphids in your home with the help of lady beetles, then you should know about the ladybug's life cycle and how they become pests. The Asian lady beetle is a voracious predator of aphids and scales on trees, shrubs, and crops. The adults can consume 90 to 270 aphids per day, while the larvae can consume between 600 to 1200 aphids during their life cycle.
When an adult lady beetle eats aphids, the stomach of the lady beetle expands, making lady beetles appear brighter and plumper. If there are no aphids in your home, Asian Lady Beetles will look for alternative food like flower nectar, ripe fruit, and other scale insects. Both adults and larvae are effective biological control agents in controlling aphid infestation.
Asian Lady Beetle Damage
The greatest damage caused by multicolored Asian lady beetle is that they can bite and release unpleasant odor, resulting in fear and discomfort at home. In addition to biting, Asian lady beetles release a foul-smelling, yellow defense, which will sometimes cause black spots on walls and other surfaces.
Some individuals may also experience an allergic reaction to it. Sinus irritations and skin irritations have been reported after encounters with Asian lady beetle. It's important to wash hands and other skin after contacting the beetles.
How to Get Rid of Asian Lady Beetles
You cannot eradicate Asian lady beetles outdoors. However, there's no point in making your home less attractive to them when they decide to seek help. Here are some of the simple methods on how to get rid of Asian lady beetles inside your house:
Vacuum Them Up
Grab a vacuum cleaner and suck up the beetles. If you have a bagless vacuum, empty it immediately or cover it tightly so it won't escape or bounce out of the dust bin. This is the simplest and most direct way to get rid of the Asian lady beetle indoors.
And since the beetles secrete their stinky odor when distressed, it's best to use a shop vac to suck them up instead of using your regular indoor vacuum. Seal and discard the vacuum bag after collecting the beetles. To save on vacuum bags, you can secure a nylon stocking around the exit end of the hose using a rubber band.
Remove the stocking immediately after turning off the vacuum, seal it closed with the rubber band, or knot the end and disband it.
Asian Lady Beetles can also be collected with light traps. Such traps attract the beetles with UV light and a chemical lure, and the insects are drawn to the source of these stimuli and enter a collecting container. Light fixtures are among the obvious signs of an Asian lady beetle infestation.
So, black light traps effectively attract and kill Asian lady beetles indoors, especially in attics and other dark enclosed areas. You can purchase traps suitable for this use or even make a DIY light trap using basic materials.
Ensure the trap's light is the only light in the room, so the beetles get attracted to it and not to other lights. Check and clean the trap regularly, especially when the Asian lady beetle infestation is heavy.
Use Insecticide Spray
A quick and easy method that can help you get rid of Asian lady beetles is to use an insecticide spray. The spray must contain pyrethroids, which have long been considered effective against almost all types of bugs. Various consumer-grade insecticide sprays are sold for killing lady beetles.
These sprays are also effective for boxelder bugs, Japanese beetles, flies, ants, and other insects. These sprays are applied indoors or outdoors, in cracks and crevices, in storage areas, around window and door frames, and anywhere you find beetles gathering.
Asian lady beetles do not reproduce indoors, so don't worry about targeting nests like ants. However, they may return to the same place next season.
Winterize Your Home
Lady beetles come into the house, most likely in the fall or even closer to the winter. They then hibernate, and when it starts to warm up in the spring, they come out of hibernation and walk their way into the homes to stay alive. In the fall, they'll find a place in the walls to sleep in the winter.
By winterizing your home, make sure you seal your doors and windows using silicone latex caulk. Also, make sure you use weather stripping for your exterior doors. If you're not planning to use your basement, close the door and seal it with caulk.
You'll also want to check around your windows and doors for any small cracks or holes that these critters can get through. Fill them in with caulk or expanding foam insulation.
How to Prevent Asian Lady Beetles from Getting into Your Home
The best way to control Asian lady beetles in your home is through pest-proofing measures to keep them from entering. These include sealing around the window sills, doors, utility wires, pipes, and gaps or cracks in the siding, eaves, and foundation.
It's also important to ensure that all door screens and windows are tightly fitted and that screens are not torn or ripped. Apply insecticides around the doors, windows, and other entry points like cracks and crevices to help keep beetles from entering the home. A temporary solution is to use duct tape or masking tape to stop the beetles.
FAQs on How to Get Rid of Asian Lady Beetles
Do lady beetles carry diseases?
Asian lady beetles do not carry any known diseases. They also don't transmit diseases to humans.
Do Asian lady beetles harm plants?
No, despite the invasive nature of this beetle species, it does more good than harm to plants. They eat aphids, which are among the plant pests and are the most ubiquitous and persistent garden pests.
Final Thought on How to Get Rid of Asian Lady Beetles
As you can see, Asian lady beetles are also important for your gardening work. So, before getting rid of them, try to encourage native ladybug species to visit your yard by practicing better gardening methods. Or, if these orange creatures are becoming a nuisance to your home, try one of the methods we mentioned above.