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FEBRUARY 16 2022 /
Ladybugs (technically called Ladybird beetles) are often found indoors in the beginning of the fall in the DC metro region as they look for a warm place to spend the winter.
Ladybugs are a beneficial outdoor insect known for helping gardeners battle damaging insects like aphids. But when they invade the indoors in massive numbers, their outdoor assistance is soon forgotten.
In the summer that sweet little red bug with the black spots has a tendency to make us smile when we see it flying around. In some cultures having one land on you is even a sign of good luck.
Farmers use ladybird beetles, aka the ladybug, to help control the harmful insect population as they eat pests that eat their crops.
However, eventually, summer turns into fall and the cold weather starts to creep in, sending ladybugs looking for a warm spot to spend the winter hibernating with a few hundred or more of their friends.
It is not uncommon to see adult ladybugs grouped together on the sides of houses and other buildings in the early fall as they prepare for the winter months.
If you see a few, you can guarantee that more will join them as they give off a scent meant to attract others and let them know that they have found a spot.
Then they will work their way around the doors and windows looking for the tiniest of entry. Once they find it, they will likely move into a crawl space or attic and spend the winter in comfort.
Luckily, ladybug is not at all dangerous to humans, but they can become a nuisance inside your home.
Occasionally, you might see them make their way out of hiding on a warm day and perch in the sun on a window. They can get a little confused and instead of finding their way outside, they wander into the main part of the house.
They release a foul odor that is a deterrent to other animals who might want to eat them, they have also been known to leave behind stains on curtains and windows of feces and a yellowish secretion when disturbed.
When you see them, please don’t scare them. Ladybugs excrete a yellow liquid that can stain light-colored surfaces.
It's not pee, but it's still pretty gross. To avoid this yellow yuckiness, vacuum any ladybug clusters up quickly and then empty the canister. Be sure you do so outside so you don’t just re-release the bugs indoors.
You can prevent ladybugs from finding their way into your home by making sure that the tiny cracks around your windows and doorways are sealed and properly insulated.
The use of caulking and weather-stripping will go a long way in helping to prevent them from finding their way in.
Also, make sure that you check around vents and pipes that they have no openings to allow them to enter.
Ladybugs are most often attracted to light colored homes so make sure that you check regularly for them gathering on your outside walls if you live in one.
Older homes tend to see more infestations because of their lack of insulation.
Finding yourself with a few ladybugs isn't really the end of the world but the females will release pheromones that will remain year after year letting other ladybugs know that your home is open for business in the fall.
A few bugs this year might very well lead to a much larger infestation at a later time. I
f you do find yourself with a Ladybug problem be sure to let your local pest control company deal with it. It is usually not effective to try to deal with it yourself and you can spend far more money on ineffective methods.