Ladybugs Swarm Homes as Cool Weather ArrivesNPMA Staff
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
By NPMA Staff
Every year, the chill of autumn sends many pests - including mice and spiders - indoors as they seek
shelter from the cold. But, many parts of country also deal with a
less intimidating but equally bothersome invader: ladybugs. Also
known as Asian lady beetles, swarms of the insects have been
reported in homes, schools, and office buildings in the Midwest and
Northeast. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) provides
tips for preventing these pests from invading homes.
Ladybugs are an invasive pest species, brought to the U.S. from
Asia in the 1960's to control pests that destroyed crops. Ladybugs
are easily identifiable by their orange or red bodies and black
"While ladybugs do not pose any serious health or property
threats, they can be a nuisance, especially because they usually
invade homes in mass," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of
public affairs for the NPMA. "Once ladybugs invade a building they
can be difficult to eradicate, so prevention is important."
NPMA recommends that homeowners seal cracks around windows,
doorframes, and utility pipes with silicone caulk to close up entry
points. Special attention should be paid to areas of the home that
get the most sun, as ladybugs are
attracted to the warmth. Trimming shrubbery and branches away from
a home's exterior can also help to prevent ladybugs from gaining
If ladybugs have already entered a home, homeowners can use a
vacuum to remove them, but it is important to dispose of the bag
outdoors to prevent the insects from crawling out. Ladybugs are
known to secrete an oily yellow liquid when disturbed, and release
an odor just before they die, so squishing them is not suggested.
To prevent or treat a ladybug infestation, NPMA recommends that
homeowners consult a pest professional who
will be able to suggest treatment options.