There are many superstitions linked to ladybugs. It is said that if a ladybug lands on you and flies away on its own, you'll have good luck. And if you count the spots on a ladybug, it will tell you how many years of good luck you'll have! Another superstition says that the appearance of a ladybug in a crop field is good luck. And it is believed that the stronger the color red, the more luck you'll have. This last one actually has some truth to it. Here are a few things you should definitely know about ladybugs.
You probably know that a ladybug is red with black dots. You may also know that ladybugs don't bite and that they are great to have crawling around in your garden. All of this is true. Ladybugs are great. But Asian lady beetles aren't ladybugs.
While Asian lady beetles can help to control crop-damaging pests, they are considered to be a significant pest for homes and businesses. This is because, unlike ladybugs which are indigenous to North American, Asian lady beetles congregate in large numbers, get into homes in large numbers, and they can bite. Yup. They bite.
How To Tell If You Have Asian Lady Beetles
Let's return to that folklore we talked about above. Asian lady beetles can be red, but they are usually other colors, such as yellow, orange and brown. So, the redder a beetle is, the more luck you're going to have with it. Red lady beetles are likely to be indigenous ladybugs. Other colored lady beetles are Asian lady beetles. If you happen to see a red-colored Asian lady beetle, you can tell it apart from a ladybug by looking at its back, just below the head. This is the thorax of the insect. On the thorax, an Asian lady beetle has a set of black dots that form an M shape. Ladybugs have a thorax that is mostly black with no white spots on each side, near the head. On the head, the ladybug has two smaller white dots. If you know this distinction, you can easily tell the difference between friendly, non-biting ladybugs, and slightly aggressive, Asian lady beetles that do bite.
Fall Lady Beetle Problems
We're often asked, "Will Asian lady beetles be a problem this fall?" The answer to this is, yes. They are always a problem in the fall. How much of a problem they will be for you depends on where you live. If you live near a crop field, you're likely to have these insects visiting you by the thousands. You won't, however, have ladybugs visiting you by the thousands. Not only do ladybugs refrain from congregating in large numbers, but their populations in the United States are dwindling.
When Asian lady beetles get in, they can create many problems. Not only do they bite, they can stain fabrics, create a foul odor, and aggravate allergies. They're also prone to infesting locations that have been previously infested. So if you got a ton of Asian lady beetles this year, you'll probably get a ton of them next year.
What to Do About Asian Lady Beetles
If Asian lady beetles haven't gotten into your home yet, there are a few things you can do to keep them out:
- Make sure all your screens are free of holes and tears.
- Check around the edges of your screens and seal any holes.
- Inspect your window and door frames. If you find gaps, use a caulking gun to seal them.
- Make sure your weatherstripping and door sweeps are in good condition.
If Asian lady beetles get in, there are a few things you can do to deal with them, such as sucking them up with a vacuum cleaner or laying down sticky traps to remove them. But the best solution is to reach out to All-American Pest Control. Our friendly and highly-trained service team members know exactly what is required to eliminate these pests. Reach out to us. We can help!