Autumn: When Lady Beetles Pick a New ‘Spot’
No, they’re not all female, but they do hail from Asia and they are true beetles (although neither they, nor their ladybug cousins are, technically, “bugs”). In fact, Asian lady beetles aren’t even what you’d consider a full-time pest.
That’s because, for one, they’re incredibly beneficial to the environment – in nature, they help control actual pests such as aphids, a common garden pest. But also, even when lady beetles do invade our homes, it’s only for the colder months of the year: typically October thru April. (However, to be fair, once inside, their secretions can really do a number on carpets and rugs.)
Lady Beetles Goeth Before the Fall
Asian lady beetles are part of a collective – which includes stink bugs, cluster flies and boxelder bugs – known to pest professionals as fall invaders. When temperatures start to drop, those are the critters most likely to go where all the people go – inside.
These fall invader pests don’t pick houses at random though: they have a reputation for avoiding houses and buildings shaded from the afternoon sun and targeting those in direct sunlight. Their strong preference for sunny spots is why they’re so often observed congregating in such large numbers, and also why some people will see these pests year after year while other households never see them at all.
They Make Terrible Houseguests
Although Asian lady beetles aren’t dangerous to people, nor will they infest wood, eat food or destroy fabrics the way other indoor pests sometimes do, they’re still not the kind of house guest you want slogging around your home all winter.
While indoors, Asian lady beetles crawl around on windows and walls, hide in attics, and emit a noxious odor, staining surfaces with the yellow fluid that seeps from their bodies before eventually dying.
They’re Almost Impossible to Evict
Once they’re inside, there’s not much a homeowner can do to get rid of them, other than vacuum them up as you see them. Thankfully Asian lady beetles don’t reproduce indoors, so their numbers shouldn’t grow over the winter; but with their already-large numbers and great ability to hide, it may feel like your efforts to reduce their population are futile.
Nothing will begin to draw them back outdoors until temperatures warm back up in the spring. However, when they do make a move, lady beetles will once again prove useful as they flock outdoors to defend your garden against aphids and scale insects.
The Only Real Offense – Is Defense
The only way to keep Asian lady beetles out is to prevent them from coming in in the first place, as this is one pest that pesticides have no effect on. Luckily, at JP Pest Services, we have a specialized program that helps keep Asian lady beetles and other fall invaders out of your home when the weather turns cold.
Our Fall Invader Program Services begin in August; however, keep in mind that appointments do book up quickly. Be sure to sign up early – before the cold moves in. This is because they move as fast as the weather, and once they’re inside, there’s nothing that anyone can do to efficiently remove them.
Thankfully, it is usually pretty easy to know whether you can expect them before it’s too late: Simply put, if you’ve seen them at that house before, you can probably expect to see them again given their specific preferences for some houses over others, which isn’t likely to change year-after-year.
Don’t just sit and wait for the next beetle invasion. For more information about our Fall Invader Program and to get a free consultation, call us today.