Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

How to Deal with Ladybug Infestation

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The occasional ladybug is nothing to worry about.

I am having a serious problem with ladybugs inside my log cabin. Do you have any ideas for ridding my new home of these beautiful but pesky insects? -Susan

Most complaints of ladybug infestations are caused by the Asian lady beetle, which was introduced into many regions of the U.S. as a natural control for soft-bodied, crop-destroying insects. These beetles would normally hibernate for the winter inside of caves and rocky crevices. However, in developed areas they have the pesky tendency to overwinter inside our homes!

Some fast facts about lady beetles:

  • They aren’t known to carry disease, and reports of bites are rare.
  • They don’t damage structures, and they don’t usually lay eggs indoors.
  • Ladybugs love to dine on aphids, which makes them very beneficial in the garden.
  • They seem drawn to homes with natural wood siding, homes in wooded areas, light-colored homes warmed by sunlight, and older homes with lots of cracks and crevices.
  • Ladybugs leave behind trails of pheromones, which attract them to the same sites year after year.

Most homeowners don’t mind a ladybug or two – they’re pretty, and also pretty harmless. For those with significant beetle populations, the battle against ladybug infestation is a yearly chore that doesn’t have a satisfying solution. Because they are so beneficial in the garden, it is generally not recommended to kill them in large numbers, yet the indoor infestations can be pretty overwhelming.

Prevention is the best strategy, along with regular removal of current invaders.

Tips for dealing with a ladybug infestation:

  • Once ladybugs are in, it’s hard to get them out. Vacuum them up regularly, and either dispose of them or release them back outside. Unlike other household pests, ladybugs come indoors to hibernate, not to multiply and invade. For this reason, many homeowners simply increase their vacuuming during ladybug season and otherwise don’t worry about them.
  • Place a knee-high stocking inside the tip of your vacuum-cleaner wand, and secure it to the rim with tape or rubber bands. As you vacuum, the ladybugs will be caught in the stocking. Don’t leave them in your vacuum-cleaner bag; they’ll crawl right back out!
  • Try a Lady Bug Light Trap to attract and capture large numbers of ladybugs for release outdoors.
  • Seal all cracks and openings around doors, windows, outlets, eaves, pipes, and any place an insect might enter. Don’t underestimate their ability to squeeze in! Use foaming sealants to close up drafty crevices, and apply weather stripping to older doors. This will lower your heating bill, too.
  • Don’t try to sweep or otherwise agitate them; when stressed, ladybugs release a yellow, smelly substance that can cause stains.
  • In the spring, the beetles will return to the outdoors. Before they return in the fall, you can apply a residual insecticide around the exterior, doors, and windows of your home, to keep them from returning.

Further Information

Julie



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11 Comments on “How to Deal with Ladybug Infestation”

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  1. mallory Says:
    October 20th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    LADY BUGS EVERYWHERE!!!!! all outside and inside my house!!!! i mean there are hundreds its sooo gross. you cant move with out almost breathing them in !! how can i make them go away??? there over the whole house!!

  2. abs Says:
    November 3rd, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    lady bugs are all over the outside of my house. there` are literally hundreds all over the front of my house and my front deck. Luckily they haven’t gotten in. How do i get rid of them before they get in my house?
    Please help

  3. peggy Says:
    January 11th, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Here it is winter and the temps are below 0 and we are still finding ladybugs all over the house!!! We have had them since Oct. everywhere in the house but the worst is the kitchen which faces south. How long do these things live? Are they living in the cracks of our logs? I don’t want to live in a chemical compound. Does anyone know anything we can do to relieve this problem?

  4. Official Comment:

    Julie Day Says:
    January 12th, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Peggy, they could be attracted to the logs (they spend the winter in crevices and caves) – they also leave behind a scent to mark their favorite winter hideouts! Seal cracks in your house to keep them from getting in, and vacuum them up when you see them. Unfortunately, it’s usually an annual problem in infested areas.

  5. kelly Says:
    January 31st, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Hello all! I’m on Day 1 after spraying my windows and house with Spectricide (for bugs: asian ladybugs/beetles). have seen none today. Yesterday I was sitting on my couch and saw my window (at my head!) and it was covered in these pests. I jumped up, got my cats out of the way and sprayed the heck out of the window, around it, above it, etc…Then I went outside and sprayed the outside of the windows sills, and the siding. I cleaned the windows and vacuumed up all the carcasses of the dead ones. Main find?? I moved my couch to get to the window and found three small (quarter size) yellow spots on my carpet! I got my SpotShot and got rid of those, too. I KNOW it has to be from those nasty bugs because it was the color you see when you pick them up.
    Anyway…I killed them (to heck with aphids!) and I don’t feel bad about them. If you see where they are clinging (like my window…gross)…do what I did. I’ll come back in the next few days and let you know if the Spectricide is still working. Good luck!!

  6. Danielle Says:
    May 2nd, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    HELP! My house is infested with ladybug larvae!! ZIt’s disgusting! There are thousands on my house. I live in a white house and it actually appears to white with black spots – thats how many there are! When approaching the door, you literally are crunching on them to get inside the house..is there ANYTHING anyone can reccommend to get rid of them? Please – it’s overwhelming and just plain gross!

  7. Lib Says:
    November 3rd, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Spray Raid outside and inside your house. Best to spray outside when they start swarming.

  8. Kevin Says:
    November 6th, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    These nasty suckers came back this year as expected, we moved into this house last year at this time and the lady bugs showed up just after us, everywhere in the house! Last year I found a hole in an inside wall brace that they decided to use to hibernate so I sealed it with them inside knowing I only got a few hundred and there are hundreds more but they seemed to really disappear after that. Today they started to swarm all over the outside of the house so I sprayed spectracide all over the outside of my home … keeping fingers crossed, we liked these until last year!

  9. becky johnson Says:
    January 9th, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I have so many lady bugs in my new house its starting to look old. The lady bugs drive my family crazy. Help Help Please

  10. dee wilson Says:
    March 2nd, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    We do have several ladybugs in our house. Yesterday I went into my walkin closet….after just being there a couple of hours before….and there was an awful smell! REALLY stong…smelled similar to a rotten potato. I could not find anything in there…even looked for mold growing…but, found nothing. I noticed about three ladybugs in my bathroom (closet entrance is in bathroom). The ladybugs were flying around the light. I left home for couple of hours. When I returned I went to closet to remove all contents and clean that bad odor..BUT there was no bad odor there! Could the odor have been from some ladybugs? Even though none were in closet that I could see? I worry about a snake….just can’t help it! Anyone with info that would help me please let me know. thanks!

  11. alice Says:
    April 9th, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Will lemon scent candles get rid of these lady bugs.

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