Halloween Asian Lady Beetles
Your Uninvited Fall House Guest
There are many common names that are used for this species including, Halloween Asian beetle, multicolored Asian lady beetle, or Japanese lady beetle.
Adults of these species are about 1/3 in. long and can be found in many different color variations. They can be yellow to red or reddish-brown, or any shade in between. Many of these beetles will have black spots on their wing covers (elytra), with the number per individual varying up to 19 spots.
At a quick glance, it can be difficult to distinguish between a ladybug and an Asian lady beetle. But if you look closely, you can see a huge difference on the head (upper part of the thorax) of the beetle. A ladybug usually has a completely black, shiny head, while the Asian lady beetle has a white head with black markings in the shape of a W or M.
The reason they are referred to as Halloween Asian lady beetles is that they become most active and apparent to homeowners when the temperature starts to drop outside. Usually around the end of October, just in time for Halloween. They also typically are different shades of orange and red with black spots.
These beetles are predators. They eat other insects, most of which are considered pests to humans who like to grow plants for food. They are often called a ‘gardener’s best friend.’ The lady beetle does a great job of eating insects that could be harming your plants or foliage. The most common insect that they eat are aphids. In fact, as their name suggests, Halloween Asian beetles originated in parts of Asia and were introduced into the United States in the early 1900s as a form of aphid control.
As the summer comes to an end, and the temperature outside begins to drop, this is when the lady beetle begins to become a real pest for people. They begin looking for a warmer place to hide and move from the garden, into your home.
While these insects aren’t dangerous to humans, there is one reason to remain cautious when dealing with these home-invading lady beetles. When they are agitated or disturbed, they can do something called ‘reflex bleed’ which releases a yellow secretion on to their would-be predator. The liquid has a strong odor and can leave a faint yellow mark on your skin, wall, or curtain. Lady beetles also have the ability to bite when they feel threatened, but they usually prefer to just fly away.
How Do I Prevent an Asian Lady Beetle Infestation?
Asian lady beetles are attracted to bright, contrasting colors in places that get a lot of sun. For your home, this usually means a white, south-facing window frame or wall that contrasts with darker surroundings. The best way to prevent a ladybug infestation is to seal up the cracks and crevices around windows in the summer before the ladybugs even get a chance to enter.
If the lady beetles do make it into your home, they can easily be vacuumed up or caught in a sticky trap. To avoid any staining on your furniture or skin, try to avoid crushing them.
Another way to prevent any insect from entering your home in the first place is to call a pest control professional to create strong barriers around the foundation of your home.
At Preventive Pest Control, we offer regular quarterly services to ensure that your home remains pest-free throughout every season of the year.
Give us a call for a pest control professional to start your services today!