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Lady Bug Invasion Don’t Get Spooked

By Staff | Oct 27, 2009

Known as the Asian ladybug, this time of year is normal to see lots of them. Wolf Township became overwhelmed with nests of them this past week. Residents didn’t know wether to call an exterminator so here are a few facts about them.

“most horticulturists consider them to be beneficial,” said Yvonne Heatley, a resident of Wolf Township and also a Master Gardner with the Penn State Cooperative Extension. They are multicolored with orange and black and during the warm, sunny days of October they can be seen crawling around yards and porches. “Often they are looking for ways to get inside and nest for the winter.” They are good because they will eat aphids and scale, and many other pests that will destroy your plants,” said Heatley.

If too many get into your home they can go from being a beneficial bug to being a pest,” said Tom Butlzer, horticulture educator with the Penn State Cooperative Extension. In most situations ladybugs are good for the common garden. Many growers like to use them to control pests instead of insecticides, he added. They are very helpful at managing a pest infestation.

However, in the fall they can start to invade the inside of your home. Thousands were seen in our area from a little as 30 or 40 at a time to masses of them.

This beetle, as ladybugs are called, is a non-native to Pennslyvania but has become established in our area according to the USDA. Up to now, they have not been a nuisance but they are now becoming more widely spread throughout North America.

the Asian beetle will congregate in cracks and crevices over winter and they like cliff faces but since Pennsylvania doesn’t have a lot of cliff faces, they choose your home,” said Butzler. They like light colored houses and tend to congregate on the sides that receive a lot of sun and hope to find a place to hibernate during the winter. They should be controlled to keep from entering the inside of your home because once inside, it is difficult for them to get back out to its natural environment.

This ladybug will not feed on building materials or get into your cupboards. They do not carry diseases and they do not reproduce in structures. You are not to crush them if you see them in your home as they will leave a yellowish stain behind that is difficult to remove. The best way to keep them from entering your home is to seal all cracks and crevices with caulking material. There is no need to spray insecticides, just vacuum them live and as soon as the cold weather comes, they will disappear added Butzler. In the spring they will wake up from their long sleep and you will see them once again.