Lady Beetles: When To Keep Them, And When To Keep Them Out
Lady beetles, ladybugs, ladybird beetles - although known by many different names, this little red-and-black spotted insect may be among the most well known across the United States.
Small, usually deep red, and a favorite among children and gardeners everywhere, lady beetles hold an envious position among common insects in a number of ways. Besides being one of the least feared insects most homeowners run into, lady beetles actually bring a whole host of benefits along with them just about wherever they go.
They can, however, be a major nuisance if gathered in large numbers - and can quickly get out of control if left to their own devices.
Here’s a closer look at what makes this curious little insect one of the most beloved from spring until late autumn, and when it might be time to step in and gently shuffle them to other pastures.
Lady Beetles Can Do A Lot Of Good…
Ask any gardener their thoughts on lady beetles and they’ll likely give you nothing short of a (relatively) glowing review. That’s because lady beetles have long been known as eaters of other, more invasive pests - like destructive aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs - while doing little to no damage to plants in the process.
For this reason, lady beetles have become one of the most important methods of natural pest remediation for gardeners, who may choose to simply introduce a few dozen lady beetles rather than harmful chemical sprays when dealing with aphids or other small pests.
...But They Can Also Be Pretty Pesky
One of the big problems with lady beetles is that, while they may be great in a garden, they tend to wander - and, all too often, these fall invaders will wander right into your home and lay eggs, leading to a boom of new hatchlings literally coming out of the woodwork come springtime and warmer weather.
That’s why autumn is prime time for lady beetle removal efforts. As the weather gets colder and days get shorter, lady beetles will begin seeking out a warm spot to lay eggs, find food and water, and generally avoid the coming winter. Chances are, your home may just be the perfect spot, and that can bring dozens (if not hundreds) of lady beetles coming inside looking for a shelter for the cold season.
If lady beetles do make their way inside, removing them completely can be difficult - and, typically, a job best left to a professional.
Keep Those Lady Beetles Under Control!
Notice an influx of lady beetles taking refuge in your home? Maybe crowding in your attic or grouped in your garage or basement? That’s a sign it might be time to start taking action - and call in a professional.
Taking On The Problem Yourself?
First thing’s first: while many of us may have memories of picking up and playing with lady beetles out in the garden, individuals should actually avoid handling lady beetles with their bare hands whenever possible. That is because, when stressed, a lady beetle will excrete a smelly yellow fluid - actually, it’s a small amount of their blood - which can stain skin, walls, and painted surfaces. Best to leave the removal to a more hands-free method.
There are a few ways you can do to fight back against lady beetles on your own. The old vacuum might do you some good sweeping up lady beetles in areas of particular concentrations. If you’re worried about treating them humanely, consider spreading a sock over the vacuum hose, which will safely gather the lady beetles for safe release outside later.
One other method that some homeowners have used for lady beetle removal is a light trap, which basically use a bright light to attract lady beetles into a space they cannot easily get out of. These can be purchased or built at home using a gallon jug and a light, but may not be the most effective method of removing a lady beetle infestation.
Time To Call In A Professional
If your lady beetle problem has escalated beyond just a few individuals here and there - or if the problem keeps popping up time and time again - it’s probably time to get some expert help from a professional who knows how to keep lady beetles out for good.
Our expert pest professionals have handled lady beetles year after year with a proven remediation system sure to not only remove the lady beetles hiding in your home, but also seal off any entry points where they may be getting in. Plus, we can thoroughly examine your property and your unique situation to determine which lady beetle prevention methods will be most effective at keeping lady beetles from making a home of their own inside yours.
Plus, with our dedicated Fall Invaders program, we can provide annual coverage for all of those common fall pests, including lady beetles, stink bugs, cluster flies, box elder bugs, and more. This kind of proactive, preventative prevention is truly the key to keeping your home pest free through the fall and winter, right up through spring, and beyond.
If you’re dealing with a lady beetle issue in your home, or if you’re looking to avoid one in the future, get in touch and see just how much our pest control experts can do to keep your home pest free. That way, you can dive into fall without having to worry about what might be hanging out just behind your walls.