The Asian lady beetle is often mistaken for the friendly ladybugs. Ladybugs and Asian lady beetles are both good predators of aphids, making them valuable in the garden. However, problems arise when these Asian beetles overtake the native ladybugs.
During the cold weather or when there is not enough food outside, the Asian lady beetles can migrate to your home. They enter households as they seek some warmth and other resources for survival there.
These insects can fly and crawl around your house. Once inside, they land on furniture, windows, and walls. If disturbed, the Asian ladybug releases a yellowish and foul-smelling fluid that can stain the fabrics, walls, and furniture. These bugs also bite when they land on the skin, which can be quite annoying.
How to Differentiate Between Asian Lady Beetles and Ladybugs?
Asian lady beetles and ladybugs can look very similar. It is vital to differentiate one from another due to their opposing characteristics. Here is how to tell the difference between Asian lady beetles and ladybugs.
Asian lady beetles and ladybugs are quite identical. However, you can notice some differences when you look closely. Ladybugs are slightly smaller than Asian lady beetles. Asian lady beetles have a longer shape, whereas ladybugs have an oval shape.
Ladybugs are always bright red with black spots on them. On the other hand, the colors of Asian lady beetles can range from red to orange. Some Asian lady beetles do not have black spots on their cerci (wing covers).
The simplest way to differentiate Asian lady beetles and ladybugs at a glance is by spotting the “M” marking. There is a highly visible and distinct M-shaped black marking on the heads of the Asian lady beetle. This marking differs in shape, thickness, and size. This marking is always present on the Asian lady beetle. The heads of the ladybugs appear less pointed and shorter than Asian beetles.
Despite these two bugs looking very similar, their behavior is quite different from one another. Unlike Asian lady beetles, ladybugs do not sneak inside your homes. Ladybugs overwinter in sheltered sites outside, whereas Asian lady beetles often get inside homes.
If you spot the bugs gathering in or around your home during winter or fall, they are likely Asian lady beetles. Another sure way to recognize the Asian Lady Beetle is their distinctive foul smell. They release yellow stinky chemicals from their joints when they feel threatened.
This secretion is termed reflex bleeding. When these bugs are crushed, the same odor gets released. Reflex bleeding is not hazardous, but it can trigger minor allergic reactions and stain fabrics or walls.
Ways to Get Rid of Asian Lady Beetles
If Asian lady beetles get inside your house, you can try out the following methods to get rid of them.
One of the most effective ways for baiting and killing Asian lady beetles is using a light trap, especially in dark rooms like the attics. You can make the light trap yourself by using clamp light and other basic materials available at home. Alternatively, you can buy light traps available in local stores or online. If you make the trap yourself, ensure that the only light in the room is coming from the light trap.
This will attract all the beetles within a controlled area. Check and clean the trap every day, especially when the number of pests is substantial.
Another easy and direct method of getting rid of Asian lady beetles is vacuuming. It is best to use a shop vac as the beetles stink when disturbed rather than a general indoor vacuum. After vacuuming, you need to seal and discard the bag.
To cut the costs of vacuum bags, you can secure a nylon stocking with a rubber band around the exit end of the hose as an alternative. After turning off the vacuum, instantly remove the stocking and seal it close and then dispose of it.
Spraying With Insecticide
Asian lady beetles can be killed by using various consumer-grade pesticide sprays. It is recommended to spray the insecticides indoors, in cracks and crevices, around window and door frames, storage spaces, and other areas where beetles congregate. Since Asian lady beetles do not breed indoors, you do not have to worry about attacking their nests. However, they may return the next season to the same location.
Call a Professional Pest Control Expert
Sometimes, the infestation of the Asian lady beetles can be too overwhelming, or getting rid of them by yourself is having no effect, or you simply want to save your time. You can surely opt for reputable and reliable professional pest control, whatever the case is. Their expertise can efficiently exterminate the Asian beetles, and you do not have to break a sweat at all.
How to Prevent Asian Lady Beetles from Entering Your Home?
Pest-proofing measures to prevent Asian lady beetles out of your house is one of the best approaches to keep them out. These include sealing the cracks in the eaves, foundation, and siding and the gaps around doors, windows, pipes, and utility wires.
It is also crucial to double-check that all doors and windows are securely shut and that the screens are not torn. Beetles can be deterred by using insecticides around windows, doors, and other access places (such as cracks and fissures). These must be used before beetles enter the house; after they are inside, they are ineffective.
Asian lady beetles are harmless when they are outside, but once they get inside your home, they can damage the interiors with their foul-smelling secretions. You can tell apart the American lady beetles from the native ladybugs when you look closely. With the right measures, you can effectively get rid of these pesky pests.
Click here to read our past blog, The Difference Between Cockroaches and Palmetto Bugs. How to Get Rid of Them?