Friday, November 3, 2017

Attack of The Ladybugs? Not Exactly...

They came out of nowhere and are buzzing about our heads, and flying into our hair, and even our ears! They are everywhere. They are Asian lady beetles!

Asian lady beetles are swarming right now, trying to find a warm place for the winter.

At first glance, Asian lady beetles may be mistaken for ladybugs, a more beneficial bug for gardeners. But beware, the Asian lady beetle bites, although not harmfully, and produces a smelly, staining liquid when threatened. In other words, they stink.

Ladybugs do neither. 

A close examination reveals the Asian lady beetle comes in colors that range from red to beige, and the white on their heads is more extensive than the white on a ladybug. (See accompanying photos.)

The Asian bug is hard to get rid of and was first discovered in the United States in 1988 in Louisiana, entomologists report.

Following are suggested methods to eliminate the Asian lady beetle.

1. Vacuum the beetles

Use the hose attachment to vacuum beetles from light fixtures, windows and other areas where they congregate. Secure a nylon stocking inside the hose with a rubber band so the beetles are bagged within the stocking and can be easily removed and disposed of. If not bagged, the bugs can clog the vacuum cleaner.

2. Use light traps

Use light to lure beetles to traps. However, the light does not kill the beetles, so drown them in liquid soap afterwards.

3. Use glue traps

Place glue traps on window sills and near light fixtures. The beetles get stuck on the traps and die. Replace the traps as needed.

4. Use indoor insecticide

Spray a pyrethrum-based fog in indoor areas where other extermination methods have not been effective. Clear the room as much as possible, close all windows and doors, fog the room, and stay outside as long as the directions on the sprayer indicate.

5. Use outdoor insecticide

Treat the lawn with an insecticide that kills grubs.

Asian lady beetles do not infest wood or destroy property and clothing. Lady beetles can fit through spaces that are one-eighth of an inch in size, so seal up gaps and cracks. Repair door screens and use rubber seals along the bottoms of doors to prevent lady beetles from entering the home.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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