Lady bugs are kind of nice to spot when you’re outdoors. They’re generally harmless and not bad. However, when you have thousands of them swarming over your property, it can be a bit problematic. So, how to get rid of ladybugs?
To get rid of ladybugs, you can physically relocate the colony by using a dustpan or your vacuum. You can also clean the affected area with water and dish soap to get rid of their scent.
To know more about the best ways to repel ladybugs, read the full article below.
- Are Ladybugs Harmful?
- Signs of Ladybug Infestation: What To Watch Out For
- How To Get Rid of Ladybugs: A Step-by-Step Guide
- How To Stop Ladybugs From Coming Back
- In Conclusion
Are Ladybugs Harmful?
In general, ladybugs are healthy for the environment. In fact, they are beneficial insects for gardens.
Over its entire life, a single lady beetle can eat around 5,000 aphids. These garden pests like to suck the important nutrient-rich liquids out of your plants. The soft-bodied insects pierce through leaves, stems, and the tender parts of the plants to get the job done.
While ladybugs are helpful in your garden, the same thing can’t be said about them when it comes to your home. They can actually be a nuisance once they’re able to get in and stay indoors.
Ladybugs can’t resist the comfort and warmth of your home, particularly during the cold weather. They can make their way inside by creeping under your doors and door frames, through your windows, and even through your drainage pipes.
Once inside, they’ll look for a dark and warm spot to lay thousands of eggs. They typically do this right before winter comes.
After settling, they will emit pheromones to attract the rest of their colony. And before you know it, you have a ladybug infestation at home.
Take note that not all ladybugs are the same.
Native ladybugs like to hibernate outside. Considering their behavior, they are less likely to cause problems inside your living space.
The Asian Lady Beetles, on the other hand, is the more invasive type since they prefer to be indoors. If you have an infestation, you can be certain that you’re dealing with this kind of lady beetle.
These two species almost have the same color and spots, making it hard for untrained eyes to tell them apart.
One way to differentiate them is by looking at the section behind their head. If you see an M-shaped mark, you’re probably dealing with Asian Beetles.
Signs of Ladybug Infestation: What To Watch Out For
It’s not that hard to spot an infestation. If you know the behaviors of ladybugs, you’d be able to deter them.
The first and most obvious sign of a ladybug infestation is the presence of many ladybugs in certain spots inside your home. They usually multiply and live in the gaps of your siding, exterior surfaces of structures, and even your walls and ceilings.
You’ll also find a yellow-colored secretion on the affected surfaces. It’s called hemolymph, and you will most likely find it on your walls, carpets, and drapes.
Then, there’s the smell. Ladybugs leave a noxious odor as they secrete hemolymph.
How does it smell?
You can think of potatoes or even dirt. It just smells moldy.
And the worst part?
The unpleasant smell can stay in your home for more than five to six months. It’s the same reason why ladybugs tend to go back to the same area year after year.
Take note that while ladybugs leave an unpleasant smell, they are different from stink bugs.
How To Get Rid of Ladybugs: A Step-by-Step Guide
Once you’re certain that you have a ladybug infestation, there are a few things you can do to get rid of it and prevent other ladybugs from getting inside your home.
Here are some of the best ways:
1. Physically Relocate the Colony
You don’t need to have extensive knowledge to do this. With just your vacuum cleaner or dustpan, you can actually gather the ladybugs in your home and physically relocate them.
Once you spot a large group of ladybugs, vacuum them up right away. Quickly empty the vacuum bag outside.
By moving the colony, you’ll be able to prevent the rest of them from going inside your home and making the infestation problem a lot worse.
Just don’t forget to clean the area with soap to get rid of the pheromones. Remember, it’s the scent that attracts the rest of the insects. If you want to get rid of ladybugs once and for all, you have to take care of the scent they leave.
For spots and small cracks that are hard to reach with your vacuum cleaner, you can use duct tape. Just wrap it around your finger or your hand and lift the ladybugs. Alternatively, you can use duct tape as a trap for the rest of the colony.
You can set up a light trap as well. To make one, you simply need to cut a soda bottle in half. Take the top half and flip it into the bottom part to make a funnel.
Get an LED light and place it inside the funnel of your light trap. It should have enough room for the bugs to enter.
2. Use a Natural Repellent
If you want to repel ladybugs the natural way, there are a couple of essential oils and herbs you can use.
You can try citronella, lavender oil, and bay leaves. Orange oil, citrus oil, and clove oil work too.
Before using them, it’s always a good idea to check if they are safe to use around pets and children. Use a spray bottle to make sure that you’re able to get to every insect trapped inside your home.
Diatomaceous earth is a good solution to ladybug infestations too. While it’s not harmful to humans, it has razor-sharp edges that are deadly to ladybugs and other pests.
You can sprinkle diatomaceous earth to areas where you see the insects. It should help prevent more ladybugs from joining the colony.
You can also mix diatomaceous earth with water and spray it on the areas of your home that are prone to developing pest problems. The list includes your basement, light fixtures, and garage doors.
Planting mums help too. Chrysanthemums release pyrethrins which can be considered as natural insecticides.
If you have difficulties with deer and rabbits, you can plant mums in your garden to keep them away.
3. Try Chemical Repellents
If herbs and essential oils don’t work, you can find a good range of chemical repellents online to kill ladybugs. If you aren’t comfortable in using them, you can ask help from pest control professionals.
In cases where ladybugs multiply in hard-to-reach areas of your home or when the infestation is too severe, you can let the experts do pest control.
How To Stop Ladybugs From Coming Back
After getting rid of the insects, the next thing you need to do is make sure that the Asian beetles won’t come back.
To prevent ladybugs indoors, you can prune trees and shrubs. Make sure that they are far away from your roof or house. The farther they are from your home, the better.
You can also install weather stripping. This is particularly important if you have loose-fitting window frames and doors.
Don’t forget to use expanding foam and caulk to fill cracks on your home’s exterior walls. Pay close attention to the areas where pipes and wires enter your home. These entry points provide a convenient way for ladybugs and other insects to get inside your home.
If you keep firewood and similar items at home, always check that they’re free from insects before moving them inside. Consider moving them to another storage location that’s far from your house.
Install window screens and stainless steel mesh wire. Make sure to block every potential access to your home, including your attic vents. When you work on fortifying your home against invasion, think the same way when you’re preventing future infestation.
Ladybug infestations can keep on happening year after year if you don’t practice control methods or do the preventive measures. If you have had a ladybug issue before, it’s likely to happen again.
The colony’s pheromones attract other ladybugs inside your home. One of the best preventive measures is to physically relocate the colony and clean the affected area with soapy water. You can also use a few drops of essential oils or use duct tape to lift the bugs. You can set light traps to prevent ladybugs from getting in as well.
If your problem with lady beetles is too severe and the preventive measures listed above don’t work, you should consider getting help from the experts. They can do proper and safe pest control to get rid of the issue without compromising your family’s health and safety.