Asian Lady Beetles: The Complete Guide
As fall approaches here in Illinois and Wisconsin, you can expect more visits from Asian lady beetles. Here is everything you need to know about these pests and how to get rid of them.
What Are Asian Lady Beetles?
While you might know plenty about ladybugs, not a lot of people know about Asian lady beetles! These ladybug lookalikes are native to Asia but came over to the US in the 1980’s. They primarily eat aphids on trees, so you’re likely to find them closer to wooded areas. As temperatures get cooler, they start to move inside, which is why you might start seeing infestations in the fall.
Ladybugs vs Asian Beetles
If you're like most people, you’ve probably thought ladybugs and Asian lady beetles are the same thing. But there are actually some big differences between these two types of insects! The most important difference is that while ladybugs are beneficial insects, Asian lady beetles are a nuisance. While they are both types of lady beetles, here are some distinctions between the two species:
- Asian lady beetles are slightly larger, sometimes orange, and have an M-shaped marking on their head.
- Ladybugs tend to stay outside and travel solo, while Asian lady beetles congregate in big groups.
- When threatened, Asian lady beetles release an unpleasant-smelling liquid that stains surfaces.
- Asian lady beetles will eat ladybugs!
The important thing to remember is that even though they look like the friendly ladybug, having an Asian lady beetle infestation is a problem that needs to be handled! If left unchecked, these pests can cause irritating bites, foul-smelling stains, and even allergic reactions.
Do Asian Lady Beetles Bite?
Unlike the ladybugs you’re used to, Asian lady beetles do bite humans! Fortunately, these bites are not usually painful and they don’t spread diseases like other bug bites can. However, since they congregate in large groups, having several beetles biting you at the same time can get very aggravating, even if they aren’t necessarily “harmful”.
While Asian lady beetles don’t pose a real threat to humans, they can be harmful to dogs and other pets that get a hold of them. When dogs try to eat them, the liquid the beetles release can damage their gums and, if ingested, their gastrointestinal tract. Luckily, there have been very few cases where this caused lasting damage. Just don’t forget about your furry friends when deciding on whether or not to treat the infestation!
Are Asian Lady Beetles Good For My Garden?
Asian Lady Beetles were brought to the US intentionally to be released amongst crops in order to eat aphids and other plant-damaging insects. If you’re noticing Asian lady beetles in your garden here in the Antioch area and wondering whether or not to get rid of them, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Asian lady beetles do feed on plant-damaging insects, which can be beneficial to your garden short-term.
- Asian lady beetles have been known to also cause small amounts of damage to the crops they are supposed to protect.
- Ladybugs, on the other hand, are beneficial without the risks, so it’s important to distinguish between the two before you try to get rid of them.
In short, the few benefits Asian lady beetles may have for your garden are not worth the hassle these pests can bring. If you find yourself dealing with an infestation this fall, get rid of Asian lady beetles as soon as possible.
How to Get Rid of Asian Lady Beetles
Now that we’ve established the need to get rid of these beetles, how do we do it? There are a few methods you can try at home before calling professional pest control.
DIY Asian Lady Beetle Control
Whether the infestation is inside or outside, we’ve got you covered with a few options on things you can try yourself to get rid of Asian lady beetles!
- If they’re outside, use citronella, bay leaves, or peppermint oil outside for the smell- they hate it!
- The simplest way to get rid of them indoors is to vacuum them up! This doesn’t require squishing them, which releases the nasty smell.
- Black light traps can be bought and placed in your house, particularly in dark rooms if that’s where the infestation is, and are very effective in attracting and getting rid of Asian lady beetles!
Call A-Action Pest Control!
If you’re dealing with an Asian lady beetle infestation in the Antioch area and DIY removal methods aren’t working for you, call A-Action Pest Control! Our local exterminators offer protection from Asian lady beetles and other fall invaders that you might see in Illinois and Wisconsin as autumn approaches. Give us a call and get a free quote on Asian lady beetle control!