As weather warms, you might be bugged by lady bugs

Multi-colored Asian Lady beetles are good for gardens, but a nuisance around and in your home. But there are steps you can take to safely rid yourself of the pests.

It is not uncommon to see “lady bugs” or more precisely, the Multi-colored Asian Lady beetle even on cold winter days gathering on windowsills or a warm sunny wall. Especially on days where the wind is calm and it is sunny.

They are usually observed beginning in late winter and spring when days are growing longer. If there is sufficient warmth generated on the sunny side of your house or other buildings, the beetles will venture to the outside and onto the siding. If the temperature of the wall or siding nears 50 degrees, some beetles will wake up and begin crawling around. Some or a lot might even come inside the house where warmer temperatures attract them. This is also true with cluster flies, western conifer seed bug, and boxelder bugs.

Generally, lady beetles feed on aphids and other soft-bodied insect plant pests. Both the adults and the immature multi-colored Asian lady beetle kill large numbers of these plant pests, especially aphids. This beneficial insect helps to control plant-damaging pests without the use of pesticides. However, if you find large numbers inside your home or all about the outside of your house then they become a pest themselves.

Using a vacuum cleaner with a stocking over the end to collect and contain the insect works best. Avoid crushing the beetles because they can release a yellowish fluid that has a faint but foul odor that can stain wallpaper and fabrics. Other steps you can take are to caulk around windows, doors and trim both outside and in to prevent access to your home for hibernation.

For more information about the multicolored Asian lady beetle and how to manage those in your home visit our website at http://www.ipm.msu.edu/beetlefaq.htm and http://ohioline.osu.edu/hse-fact/1030.html

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