Ladybugs can be beneficial to your yards and gardens, but some species can also be a big nuisance. In this blog, we talk about how to get rid of ladybugs that try to invade your home.
Typically, ladybugs or lady beetles are seen as beneficial insects since they eat garden pests.
However, some of them can quickly become a nuisance if they start to infest our homes, which they often do during the winter.
So, getting rid of ladybugs from your house as soon as possible is essential. To learn why we must remove them from our homes and how to do it, continue reading.
Why Are Some Ladybugs Unwelcome?
A ladybug infestation can cause unwanted stains on several household items, including walls, paper products, and curtains.
Lady beetles who infest houses are also more likely to bite human skin than those in gardens. Even though their bites are harmless, they can still cause discomfort for a while.
Thankfully, not all ladybugs do these things. Let’s first understand which ones can be a problem.
Types of Ladybugs
There are more than 5,000 species of ladybugs around the world, but only about 450 in North America. There are some that have traveled to the states, most notably, the Asian lady beetles.
Both ladybugs look the same – red and round with black spots on their back and a white lining on the head.
However, by nature, they can be very different from each other.
Asian Lady Beetles are more aggressive than native ones and often overstep the boundaries of the gardens they are supposed to belong to. Let’s learn about both in more detail.
The red and orange native ladybugs are round, with black spots on the back and white markings on the head.
Their snout, however, is less pointed or sharp than Asian lady beetles, but the latter have white spots on their cheeks.
Native ladybugs spend the winters outside and consume garden pests without congregating in large groups. They are, thus, truly beneficial insects to humans and nature.
Asian Lady Beetles
The Asian lady beetle, also known as harlequin ladybirds, can be spotted in yellow, tan, orange, and deep red shades.
They come with many black spots or none at all, but you can easily recognize them due to the ‘M’ or ‘W’ marking on their head.
It is visible in a white-colored marking and might be a little faded sometimes, but it’s always there.
Their oblong-shaped body is larger than the native species, and their mouth is a pointer or sharper than most ladybug species.
They can undoubtedly bite if provoked or threatened.
This ladybug species usually overwinters inside people’s homes and can show up in large numbers (thousands of them).
They can quickly be a nuisance to homeowners. They also secrete a yellowish-brown fluid that smells nasty and leaves stains on household items.
While they eat many pests like aphids and mites, they often start munching on beneficial insects also, especially when aphids are scarce.
As we said earlier, these ladybugs can collect in large numbers, and they often overeat the resources that native ladybugs were also feeding on. They can become a significant problem for native ladybugs.
Many people also have allergic reactions when exposed to dead Asian lady beetles.
All in all, you need to eliminate them from your house.
Ways To Remove Them
As discussed, native ladybugs are beneficial to humans, so having them around and in your garden is great.
However, if you notice a large group of Asian ladybugs swarming your house, especially during colder months, getting rid of them is the only solution.
Here’s a list of some quick and easy ways to get rid of these ladybugs.
The easiest way to get rid of ladybugs in your house is to suck them in a sealed plastic bag via a vacuum cleaner and discard the bag outside the house.
Make sure to use a shop vac instead of a regular vacuum because these bugs can always escape if they are not sealed off.
White vinegar can successfully kill the ladybugs in the house and remove the pheromones they release to attract their males.
All you have to do is pour white vinegar into a spray bottle, look for the bugs in your house, and spray it directly on them to get rid of them.
Soapy water is another one of those catch-all remedies for insects, and it works equally well for ladybugs too.
Pour water and soap into a bowl, mix them and leave the bowl in a well-lit area. These bugs are attracted to light and moisture so that they will land in the water.
However, the soapy water solution will not allow them to leave. You can then pour the water outside of your house.
Lady bugs are attracted to light, so it is a good idea to set up insect light traps in dark and enclosed areas, such as the attic or basement.
All you need to do is purchase an insect trap and keep it in a lighted area, or make one yourself at home and finally put it in the infested area of the house.
Once you do, sit back and wait for the bugs to appear. When enough ladybugs are trapped in it, take it out and release them.
DE It is a type of sedimentary earth (silica) used as a natural pesticide.
When sprayed on ladybugs, it dries out their exoskeletons until they die. You can use a vacuum cleaner to take them outside your house after they are dead.
Plant mums are famously known for removing ladybugs and insects from the house. You can put the mums on your home’s windows, doors, or other entry areas to block these bugs from getting in.
The good thing about these flowers is that while they effectively help remove ladybugs from the house, they do not cause harm to animals or human beings.
Bay leaves and cloves, lavender, and citronella help humans get rid of ladybug infestations inside their houses. It is usually their smell that keeps the bugs and insects at bay.
If you are not looking for natural or homemade ways to get rid of ladybugs infestation during cold weather, you can choose chemical repellents, aerosol insecticides, or sprays to remove the bugs.
All you have to do is target the bug with the nozzle and spray the chemical directly at the bug. However, you must make sure to read and follow the instructions in the package before using the product.
Once the bug is dead, you can use a vacuum cleaner to suck it in and discard the insect outside your house.
How To Prevent Them From Swarming
If you want to prevent ladybugs from swarming, simply don’t allow them to enter your home! Here are some tips to make that happen
- Seal all the cracks, crevices, and holes you find across your house, especially those on entry zones like doors, windows, etc.
- Install good quality screens over roof vents because that’s one area most people miss and, thus, suffer later.
- Always check your window screen for any dents; if found, get them fixed immediately, especially during winter.
- Spray white vinegar or insecticides around the house to get rid of the ladybugs as soon as possible.
If you cannot get rid of them even after following all the guidelines, get professional help.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get rid of ladybugs permanently?
The best way to get rid of ladybugs is not to let them enter your house by sealing the cracks and crevices on the doors and windows.
You can also spray insecticides in the house and add cloves or bay leaves in house corners to keep them away.
What scent keeps ladybugs away?
The scent of citrus fruits, candles, or citronella, keeps ladybugs away. Bay leaves and peppermint is also effective deterrents against them.
These natural remedies also keep the bugs from swarming the house due to the release of pheromones from those already inside.
Why is my house full of ladybugs?
Ladybugs enter homes to shelter themselves during the winter. They look for warmth during colder months, and our homes are the perfect places to protect them from the weather.
What kills ladybugs in the house?
You can use a vacuum cleaner, white vinegar, soapy water, light traps, insecticides, etc., to kill ladybugs in the house.
You can also use cloves, bay leaves, citrus-flavored candles, or plant mums to keep the insects away from your house.
Not all ladybugs bring good luck. Some of them can bring a lot of problems for you.
We hope this article will help you get rid of Asian lady beetles from your house this winter.
If you have more tips to keep ladybugs away from your home, feel free to share them with us.
Thank you for reading!
Ladybugs aren’t always the cute and cuddly pests from children’s rhymes and fairy tales. When these bugs start to swarm buildings and homes, they can be a huge nuisance.
Over the years, our readers have often shared their problems due to the overpopulation of these bugs in their area, especially during winter.
Read on to know how many problems they can create.
Letter 1 – Florida Predatory Stink Bug eats Lady Beetle
Subject: bug Location: advance,nc January 11, 2016 11:12 pm Please tell me what kind of bug this is eating this ladybug.I took this pic on my back steps. Signature: Michelle christenberry Hi Michelle, Though both insects are predators, the individual doing the eating in your image is a Florida Predatory Stink Bug.
Letter 2 – Fungus Eating Lady Beetles from Australia
Subject: Ladybird Bug Geographic location of the bug: Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia Date: 03/28/2019 Time: 01:30 AM EDT Your letter to the bugman: I am keen to identify this Ladybird Bug as friend or foe – have many of them in the garden. How you want your letter signed: Lyndie Dear Lyndie, This is a very interesting submission for us. We quickly identified your Fungus Eating Lady Beetles, Illeis galbula, on the Brisbane Insect website where it states: “Both adults and larvae feed on fungus and black mold on leaves” and “The Fungus-eating Ladybird larvae grow up to 8-10mm. They are creamy white in colour with lines of black dots on their back. They are usually found feeding those black mold or fungus on leaves. The larvae runs very fast when disturbed. Larvae feed only on powdery mildew type of fungus (Oidium sp., Erysiphales) which infecting various plants. ” Most Lady Beetles are considered beneficial as they are predators, but we have never heard of a beneficial Lady Beetle eating detrimental fungus on plants. We decided to find another source for information, so we found the New Zealand Arthropod Collection Fact Sheet Series where it states: “This adventive ladybird was first found in New Zealand in 1985 in Auckland. It comes from Eastern Australia and is also found in New Guinea. It is now present in New Zealand’s North Island, where it occurs in gardens, parks, and other areas where powdery mildew fungi infested plants occur. It is most commonly seen on cucurbits (Curcurbaceae).” The site also states: “The adult and larval ladybirds eat powdery mildew fungi and are probably attracted to the smell of powdery mildew. This kind of fungus forms white growths on the surface of leaves that include its fruiting bodies (spores). In spring the over-wintering adults may feed on pollen. The adults and larvae of many fungal feeding ladybirds have modified mouth parts for scraping fungal hyphae and spores from the surface of leaves.”
Letter 3 – Immature Lady Bird Beetle
On the rosebush
We found this little guy on the rosebush as we were cleaning off aphids. S/he is about 1/4 inch long. Have not seen one like it, so was curious to know what it might be.
Thanks in advance,
I hope your immature Lady Bird Beetle or Ladybug did not come to an untimely end. The larvae are ravenous aphid eaters, and unlike the adults, do not fly away. Your specimen is Harmonia axyridis, the Multicolored Asian lady beetle.
Letter 4 – Lady Beetle: Myzia subvittata
what is this August 8, 2009 western canada- looks like a type of ladybug from British Columbia Canada Dear from, This is a Lady Beetle, and we believe we have identified it as Myzia subvittata based on images posted to BugGuide, and the location of those sightings as Oregon and Washington.
Letter 5 – Lady Beetle Larvae from Portugal
Subject: Lady Bird Nymphs* from Portugal Location: Guimarães, Portugal January 26, 2014 4:12 pm Hi Daniel! Haven’t had much internet for a few weeks due to travel (back in Germany currently) so had much to catch up on at the site. Saw that the bug of the month was… ‘metamorphosis’ but not sure if it’s specifically the Lady Bird (Bug) or of any kind. However, I’ve been meaning to send in the cool Lady Bug nymphs I saw in Guimarães (the 2012 European Capitol of Culture) last May. I think one may be an Asian but the other one is perhaps a more native Lady Bug (but I don’t know which one). I think it’s important to show pics of this stage of the Lady Bug as so few know these are related to Lady Bugs so kill them. I know I used to be a bit afraid of them until I found out what they were. Thanks again for such a cool site. Signature: Curious Girl Dear Curious Girl, We cannot say for certain that the one larva is a Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle because it looks different that the examples on BugGuide. You comment about the importance of people being able to recognize the Lady Beetle larvae is well taken. We get countless requests to identify them and determine if they are harmful, and most folks are quite surprised to learn their true identity. * P.S. These are larvae, not nymphs, which is a term reserved for immature insects that do not undergo complete metamorphosis. The black and white larva is quite unusual. Update: Seven Spotted Lady Beetle Larva and Fourteen Spotted Lady Beetle Larva Thanks to a comment from Mardikavana, we now know that the: “First larvae should be Coccinella septempunctata [Seven Spotted Lady Beetle see BugGuide]and second one belongs to Propylea quatuordecimpunctata [Fourteen Spotted Lady Beetle see BugGuide].” It is interesting that both species are listed on BugGuide which is devoted to North American insects, yet both sightings were in Portugal. According to BugGuide, the Fourteen Spotted Lady Beetle is: “Non-native; southeastern Canada and New England west to Great Lakes, south to Florida. Range apparently still spreading.” Of the Seven Spotted Lady Beetle, BugGuide notes: “It has been repeatedly introduced in the US from Europe, to control aphids. This widespread palearctic species was intentionally introduced into N. America several times from 1956 to 1971 for biological control of aphids. All of those attempts apparently failed in getting C. septempunctata established, but in 1973 an established population was found in Bergen Co., New Jersey. This population is thought to have been the result of an accidental introduction rather than a purposeful one (Angalet and Jacques, 1975). Since 1973, this species has spread naturally and been colonized and established in Delaware, Georgia, and Oklahoma. (Gordon 1985) It has since spread throughout N. Amer.” Danke Daniel (I am in Germany at the moment, soon to return to my beloved Portugal), It’s hard to keep all the insect terms straight but that’s what is so great about the site is it educates us neophytes :^D So, the 7 spot at least I have pics of in her (his) adult form as well, but in Porto (about 30km or so southwest). And a couple others since I’m here and a little loopy tired… So glad to know what I was seeing. Seems the 7 spot is native then to Europe even if the other is not. Funny how humans have so changed the world even beyond the Asian Lady. :^) Muito obrigada to Mardikavana for the IDs. Awesome! Later I’ll send some of the Asian variety spotted (ha ha) in Germany. :^) Hi again Curious Girl, Neither species is native to North America, and BugGuide did not indicate if both are European. We will do additional research on the Fourteen Spotted Lady Beetle. According to Discover Life: “Propylaea quatuordecimpunctata is a European lady beetle that was probably accidentally introduced to North America by shipping in the St. Lawrence Seaway in the late 1960’s. These distinctively coloured little (4 or 5mm) beetles did not show up in Ontario until the 1990s, and only became common in the late 1990’s.” P.S. We have added your photo of the adult Lady Beetle to the original posting. We will create a unique posting for your other Lady Beetle images.