Are Lady Beetles Coming After Your Dog?
If you haven’t seen the viral photograph of a dog whose mouth became infested with lady beetles, make sure you’re sitting down, take a deep breath, then click here.
First, the good news: An infestation of this sort is rare. Now, the bad news: Although infrequent, such a thing does serve as a demonstration of how lady beetles – despite their cute name and adorable appearance – can pose a serious pest problem.
Asian Lady Beetles Aren’t the Same as Ladybugs
First, let’s dispense with a point of common confusion: Lady beetles and ladybugs are not the same species, even though they look a lot alike and have similar names. And make no mistake, the difference matters – a lot.
Ladybugs are highly beneficial insects. They feed on destructive garden pests – aphids, mites, whiteflies and the like – and they do not congregate in large groups or, more importantly, bite humans.
Asian lady beetles also hunt garden pests, but that’s where the similarities end. Unlike ladybugs, lady beetles do gather in large numbers (and are known to invade homes and buildings) and, worst of all, they do bite.
So, How Do They End Up In a Dog’s Mouth?
The reason lady beetles have been found congregating inside of dogs’ mouths is because they’re attracted to humid, moist environments. Especially as the outdoor temperatures start to drop in the fall -- and the ambient humidity falls away, creating that familiarly crisp autumn air – lady beetles are drawn to the damp, warm cavern that is your dog’s gaping mouth.
And they’re not just milling about in there – they latch on, and it usually requires tools, like tweezers, to remove them.
Worse still, the problem doesn’t end there. Dogs with similar infestations experience worrisome symptoms, including loss of appetite, lethargy and – tellingly – a frothy drool. Even after the bugs are removed from your pet’s mouth, the healing process is just beginning – dogs can also suffer a sort of “beetle induced chemical burn” that can take time to heal.
New England Lady Beetles Know a Better Way to Survive
Rather than taking up residence in your dog’s mouth, lady beetles in New England have learned a far superior method for waiting out the winter – by invading your home. That’s great news for your pup, but not so good for homeowners.
To protect your home against lady beetles, it’s best to take steps before the outdoor temperature starts to drop. One thing you can do yourself is to check the outside of your home for small spaces or cracks that could allow lady beetles (and other pests) to enter your house.
But be forewarned – lady beetles can fit through an opening as small as 1/8-inch, so it can be tough to catch every potential entry point. That’s where we come in.
Not only are our pest control professionals specially trained to find even the smallest entryways for pests, our Fall Invader program is specifically geared to prevent lady beetles and a bunch of other species that like from moving in when the weather turns cold (boxelder bugs, cluster flies, conifer seed bugs, stink bugs and more).
Uplevel your autumn defense against unwanted fall invaders – request a free quote on our Fall Invader pest prevention program.