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They are congregating in a big way – some people report hundreds of these little insects gathering on the outside of their houses, getting inside every chance they have.
But – are they the “real” ladybugs? Probably not – that is- if you can tell the difference. And not that it matters much anyway – nobody wants armies of these inside the house.
If you have been invaded by them, chances are that you are dealing with the Asian Lady Beetle and not the native lady bug. The difference is subtle – the Asian Lady Beetle is orange to black in colour and has a whole bunch of dots, as many as 19 of them.
If you are wondering where they came from, you can sort of blame the government for that. These insects were imported here at the beginning of the 20th century to help with controlling tree-killing aphids. They feed on them – so they are the good guys! But granted – they are not so good when they show up in large groups inside of your house!
What to do?
First – check out your screen doors, window screen and screened in porches. They need to be properly sealed, since the most common way for these insects to get into your house are cracks in screen doors or doors that don’t fit properly. You can fix that easily and inexpensively by using weather stripping or by replacing torn screens.
Next – check out door frames, window frames and your siding. Some of the insects are stubborn enough to try to get into the house through your siding! You may want to check seals around air vents and piping are good.
So – essentially what you are trying to do is to prevent the migration of Asian lady Beetles into your house. You can also do that by spraying pesticide to the outside walls of your house, your siding, eaves, attic vents, roof overhangs, doors and windows. I would say you pretty much need to do that if the problem gets really bad and you have swarms nesting on the outside of your home.
I heard of a neat little trick to get rid of them. Haven’t tried it myself, but it sounds easy and makes a great sense:
What you do is take the hose to your vacuum cleaner and stick nylon down it, then seal the nylon to the hose with a rubber band. What you have created here is a filter on the end of your hose. Then you just go around and vacuum the pests. They get trapped in the nylon, which you remove when you are done, tie it and throw it in the garbage. It does seem like the easiest and the least ecological destructive way!
Here is a diagram for it for you – just to make it clear:
And no – don’t do it if you have sentimental feelings towards Ladybugs – I am just giving you the information here! And as usual – I would love to get your comments and suggestions – your input is very much appreciated!