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Ladybugs And Asian Lady Beetles

How to Eliminate Asian Lady Beetles

Eliminating the beetles once they are indoors can be done with a combination of aerosol sprays and sticky traps. Our Harris Lady Beetle Killer is the perfect solution. The Asian lady beetle will often come to windows during the day, and can be treated with an aerosol and captured in traps at this location. It is just that easy to get rid of Asian Lady Beetles.

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How to Prevent Asian Lady Beetles

Preventing large aggregations begins with spraying insecticides, such as Harris Lady Beetle Killer, on the house siding where the beetles start to gather. This may encourage them to leave. Re-application of the liquid insecticide may be necessary because the residual activity will be reduced with exposure to the sun. Treating around the doors and windows may help to keep them from coming indoors along these routes. Applying insecticide directly to the beetles will be the most effective method of control.

Ladybugs occupy an interesting place in the pest world. They are generally considered very beneficial bugs because they eat so many detrimental insects. Many cultures even consider ladybugs to be a sign of good luck. Some species, however, can be quite a nuisance when they try to overwinter inside homes. Keeping them in the garden, and out of your home can seem like a daunting task, but there are prevention and control methods available to help you achieve this. Let’s take a closer look at ladybugs in this ultimate guide.

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What’s in a name: Ladybug or Lady Beetle?

Nearly everyone knows about the friendly little red insects with black spots that spend their days in gardens, but it seems that everyone has a different name for them. In the United States, they are most commonly known as ladybugs. In most of Europe, including Britain, they are known as ladybirds or ladybird beetles. Most entomologists actually prefer the term lady beetles. No matter what you call them, these insects are an important part of the ecosystem. Ladybugs are part of the beetle family. There are over 6,000 different species in the world, and they vary greatly in color <1>. Most are orange, yellow, or red with black spots or stripes and white accents. The specific combination of these colors helps to give a clue to what species it is. Ladybugs range in size from .8-18 mm long. They are domed insects that are round or oval-shaped. Ladybugs fly using their wings, have six short black legs, and have short, clubbed antennae.

The Benefits of Ladybugs

Any gardener can tell you that ladybugs are a welcome insect in their yard. Ladybugs have long been known to help in agricultural settings by eating aphids, thrips, scale, and other soft-bodied insects that can wreak havoc on crops and produce. For farmers and gardeners, ladybugs represent a natural form of pest control that doesn’t harm the environment. They are so sought after that garden centers and other companies have begun selling large numbers of ladybugs that can be released into gardens or fields for this purpose.

Native Ladybug Species

Some of the ladybug species that are native to North America include the convergent ladybug, the parenthesis ladybug, and the 9 spotted ladybug. While they used to be very common, the habitat of native ladybugs is being taken over by other invasive species, so the populations are quickly declining. The National Science Foundation even fundedThe Lost Ladybug Project to help identify and protect these native species. They are all very similar in appearance, but have slight differences in their markings.

Convergent Ladybugs

  • One of the most common species in the United States
  • Approximately 6-8 mm in length
  • Bright red or orange body with 12 black spots (6 on each side of its body)
  • The pronotum (area behind the head) is black with a white border and 2 white, converging lines

Parenthesis Ladybugs

  • Red or orange
  • 3-6 mm in length
  • Black pronotum with white lines at the front edge
  • 2 black spots at the end of each wing cover that resemble parenthesis

Nine Spotted Ladybug

  • Native to North America, but becoming rare
  • Red or orange in color
  • 4 black spots on each wing cover with 1 black spot in the middle
  • A black pronotum with white patches toward the front

Invasive Ladybugs

There are several invasive species, but the Asian lady beetle is the most troubling species of ladybug in the United States. Although they look similar to native species, the trained eye can distinguish between them.

Asian Lady Beetles

  • Native to eastern Asia, but now common throughout North America
  • 5.5-8.5 mm long
  • Wide range of colors, but most often red or orange with 0-22 black spots
  • Pronotum is white with black markings that often resemble an “M” or “W”-- This is the key distinguishing feature when determining vs Asian lady beetles

The Problems With Asian Lady Beetles

Asian lady beetles(Harmonia axyridis) are a species of beetle that are also known as harlequin ladybirds. They are among the most varied species in the world because of their wide range of colors <2>. Like all ladybugs, Asian lady beetles are beneficial because they eat bugs that are considered agricultural pests. The Asian lady beetle is a particularly strong and hardy beetle, so the U.S. began introducing them in the early 1900’s to help control aphids, scale, and other agricultural pests. They proved to be very beneficial for farmers and gardeners, but started to displace other native ladybugs and alter the fragile ecosystem. They are now one of the most common ladybugs in North America. An annoying side effect for homeowners is that Asian lady beetles tend to congregate on exterior walls or inside homes to hibernate during the cold winters. During the fall months (September - November), Asian lady beetles look for sunlit areas where the sun heats up the surroundings. They tend to swarm toward South or Southwest facing structures like homes, trees, and fences to warm themselves. These groups of lady beetles can become very large and problematic. Once they find warmth on the wall of a home, they can easily crawl through small cracks and crevices to reach the inside of the home. If they get indoors, they will end up hibernating in attics, ceilings and wall voids. They will overwinter indoors until the temperatures start to warm up in the spring. This is a fairly isolated problem that concerns the Asian lady beetle because most other species of ladybugs are solitary, or if they congregate they will do so in higher wooded locations like the Sierra Nevada mountains.This invasive species has made it necessary to implement preventive measures and develop control techniques for ladybugs around homes. The introduction of the Asian lady beetle has been both a blessing and a curse.

Are Ladybugs Dangerous?

Ladybugs are not dangerous. They have not been found to carry and transmit any diseases, they are not poisonous, and they pose no real threat. They have a mandible for chewing, so technically, they can bite, but it is very rare. Their jaws are so small that if you did receive a bite, it would be only a minor pinch and not cause any serious long-term consequences. When a ladybug is disturbed or frightened, it will emit a foul-smelling yellow liquid chemical that alerts predators not to eat it because it has a very bitter taste. This will not harm humans, but it can potentially stain objects that it comes in contact with. So, although ladybugs and lady beetles are not dangerous they can be a major nuisance by their presence in your home.

Getting Rid of Ladybugs and Lady Beetles

There are many tips and tricks that will help you get rid of ladybugs around your home, but like most things, prevention is always the best place to start. Here are some things you can do to protect your home.

Sealing the Exterior

Top on the list of effective strategies is sealing the exterior of your home to prevent entry. Use caulking to seal small cracks and gaps around the outside of your home. If you have larger holes, especially around plumbing or electrical fixtures, fill them will expandable spray foam. Also fix all screens and weather stripping around doors and windows.

Spray Around the Perimeter of Your Home

Every few months, you can spray around the perimeter of your home with a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide. These residual treatments help to keep out all kinds of insects, including ladybugs. It is especially important that you spray in early fall and early spring on the south and southwest exteriors to keep the lady beetles from congregating around your home. Also pay attention to entry points like attic vents, around windows, near doors, and around eaves.Harris Asian Lady Beetle and Box Elder Bug Killer is a great option.


There are a variety of traps that can be used to get rid of lady beetles. Regular sticky traps in windows help to monitor insect populations and can get rid of a percentage of the population of the ladybugs that are in your home. If you are seeing large numbers of them, you can also make your own trap using a nylon fastened over the end of a vacuum hose with a rubber band. After you suck up the insects, you have the option of letting them go back out in the garden where they belong.

Insecticidal Dust

Insecticidal dusts are good for many different types of bugs and are great for hard to reach areas like around light switch plates, electrical outlets, and plumbing openings. Dusts can last for up to 8 months.

Aerosols or Sprays

Indoors, you can use aerosols and sprays that will kill on contact. You can spray directly on the insects, or you can use an applicator tip to get into cracks and crevices where they may be hiding.

Ladybug Pest Control

Ladybugs are beautiful bugs that are beneficial for our agricultural endeavors, but they are a nuisance in our homes. If you are dealing with an infestation of Asian lady beetles and need help, Harris has the home pest control products that will help you get the job done right. We are America’s oldest EPA registered brand, and we want to help you take back your home.