Lady Bugs / Lady Beetles
At one time, this insect was viewed as beneficial insect that should not be harmed because it would feed on other pest species. Sometime during the last twenty years of the 20th century, another species, the Asian Lady Beetle was introduced to augment the work of the native lady beetle here in the US.
Over time, the population of the Asian Lady Beetles has exploded creating problem with insects that migrate onto and into homes in the fall and sometimes in large numbers. Although the attitude has been to leave these insects undisturbed due to their beneficial behavior, the advice is not practical when hundreds of insects invade a home.
All beetles go through complete metamorphosis: egg, larvae (grub), pupae (cocoon) and adult (beetle). There is the possibility of numerous generations of this beetle during the year, but when fall approaches in any number of temperate areas around the US, the beetles begin to migrate onto the warm, south or southwest side of building, attracted by the sunlight reflect on the building.
It is shortly afterward that the beetles will find their way into the walls of home only to emerge at windows inside of the home on warm sunny days during the colder months of the fall, winter and spring to the chagrin of many homeowners.
It is recommended not to kill insects by squashing them due to the odor that is emitted from this process. Vacuuming the beetles off of surfaces is a better solution, but it is critical that a new bag be used or the collection canister emptied and cleaned after each capture since the beetles release a scent which may be distributed through the vacuum's exhaust into the room if the vacuum is used again.
Insecticides may be helpful when attempting to control this pest. There are insecticides labeled to treat beetles such as bifenthrin formulations which are sold under a variety of brand names. The products would be applied to beetle resting areas inside or outside of the home as needed.
This year, we are pleased to offer an alternative product that does not involve pesticides. LadyBug Buster is a new product that is based on an existing product that we have sold for years, Cluster Buster. Inside of the trap is an attractant to lure the beetles inside. Once inside, the beetles fly into very finely ground powdered egg shell which is so light and fluffy that the insects cannot stand on it and they quickly sink into the powder. The particle size acts to kill the insect by blocking the breathing apparatus on insects called sphaeracles.
There is going to be disagreement over the decision to kill these insects. One can build light traps to capture the beetles (these may be found on the web) for storage over the winter, but the average homeowner is not going to do this. We think that the LadyBug Buster is a reasonable alternative that can provide the homeowner with a way to help remove the beetles from the inside of their homes.
For those that prefer not to kill the beetles, beetle traps can be constructed to capture the beetles unharmed and maintain them through the winter. Instructions may be found at a number of web sites.
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