Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

How to Deal with Ladybug Infestation


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


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19 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.

  12. cindy g Says:
    September 25th, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Has anyone had issues with ladybugs under their vinyl siding? My husband thought the back of our house looked odd and after tearing off several sheets of siding and found rotting sheathing. At first we thought “inside moisture problem”- nope. Its dead, rotten sheets of lady bugs clogging the drip channel in the vinyl siding or a pan cake like sheet of dead and rotting bugs going up the wall of siding.

  13. Claudia Burton Says:
    October 19th, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    OMG They are back ! I can’t deal with this any longer. We moved here from Ca and built a beautiful home with a river view and the golf course behind us. Last October I was sucking up hundreds weekly…it disgusts me they all go up under the blinds. My boyfriend thinks I over react but I can’t live like this I seriously want to leave my dream home…I have gardners to deal with the aphids and no one can help with lady bugs ?! Someone has to know what to do.This honestly makes me so depressed.

  14. Blaine Says:
    October 27th, 2014 at 10:07 am

    What you have is Asian Lady Beetles (not lady bugs). I empathize with you as I built a weekend log cabin that gets invaded (badly) every year, and it has taken me ten years to get over people telling me all I could do was vacuum them up. First, you should know that they are very resistant to insecticide and weather- they will find the smallest crevices and hole up in your home until spring. I have found a few things that in combination will work, but you must do them in advance of the first warm day after a frost in mid-late October when the ALB’s swarm.

    First, order sage bundles (the real ones, fresh from the western US, not chemically scented candles, etc) and go around the inside and outside of your house making sure the smoke gets into the corners and crevices, essentially a smoke filled room. Keep a pan or bucket for the falling ashes. Don’t worry the scent dissipates in a couple of days. The SW Indians sage bundles these for spiritual cleansing but what I can tell you as ALB’s do not like it at all for some reason. I know it sounds crazy….but it helps alot.

    Secondly, get some painters tape and plastic. Cover the fireplace opening completely with plastic and use the painter’s tape to cover the seams of every door or opening to the outside.

    Thirdly, spray the outside of the home with a good residual insecticide – I use a product off the net called Demon WP. Wear goggles, gloves and a respirator, once it dries it is fairly harmless to be around and doesn’t carry an odor. Make sure you get all the corners and edges of the home including deck and railing spindles, etc. You can use Ortho Home on the inside of windows, screens etc, and that will get some but not all of them.

    If this sounds like a lot of work, it is. But better that than having the stinky bugs fall into my wine glass and getting into everything all winter long. I am down to seeing less than half a dozen inside (alive) over the winter a year using the above approach, and it is worth it.

    Here is a good informational website, so that you know these are not cute lady bugs to be spared and released outside as they will come right back in. They are an invasive species: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef416.asp

  15. Official Comment:

    Ben Erickson Says:
    October 27th, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Hi Blaine,
    Thanks for the tips about getting rid of Asian Lady Beetles. We referenced the correct name in our article, but titled it “ladybugs” since that’s what most people (including the person who asked the question) think they have.

  16. Paul Says:
    October 28th, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Blaine – Thanks for the great tips. Will start implementation now.
    Two days ago I spent the afternoon with a hose constantly washing down the side of my house. Yesterday was spent vacuuming ALBs from the inside of my house until I decided to take the battle to them on the outside of the house, with the vacuum and a long extension. I FILLED the vacuum bag with one very mad hornet, one stinkbug and an estimated gallon of ALBs and that was just from the south facing side of the house.

  17. Jeff Says:
    November 28th, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    We had them bad this year. It was indeed a swarm and they were all over mainly the west and south sides of the house. Some also got inside. Solution? Dawn dishwashing liquid. Yup, plain ole Dawn. I have a spray nozzle for the hose outside that has a refillable dispenser. I filled it with dawn, multiple times, and sprayed the critters liberally. Almost instant death. For the inside, I mixed a spray bottle with enough Dawn to turn the water a nice blue. Set the sprayer to “stream” and have a ball. One little squirt each to any resting beetles and down they go. Dawn liquid is an incredible bug killer. A friend had a wasp nest on his carport easily 7″ or 8″ across just covered with wasps. He mixed a pitcher with warm water and Dawn liquid, walked right up under the nest, and doused it. They fell to the ground in a huge wad. None flew. Sure they bite their wings on the ground for a short while, but all perished. I am a firm believer in Dawn, for clean dishes and dead bugs! Hope this helps.

  18. Dennis Henley Says:
    February 13th, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Definitely a “winter Time” bug! The fact they eat aphids seems to be “summer Time Diet”. I live in Central Alabama and my house is inundated with Lady Bugs beginning in Late October, lasting through to spring. Millions of them! My house has yellow siding which I believe attracts them. Like the Fire Ants that have taken over most of the south, these ladies are becoming a nuisance!!!

  19. Lauriate Roly Says:
    March 6th, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I once wrote this poem:

    Ladybug. Ladybug.
    You’re no friend of mine.
    You get in the vats,
    and spoil all the wine.

    I used to think it so cute if one landed on my pencil as I was writing in class.

    I’ve changed my opinion now that I’m involved in wine making.

    They truly are persistent and mean little beasties aren’t they? (still look cute on a lovely new yellow pencil).

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