Lady Bugs How to Get Rid of Lady Bugs
Many people will recognize that the definition of the word “lady” stands for a woman who is of superior social position, well-mannered, and a woman who has authority. This may be the reason why this insect is given its common-name, ladybug. There is a general knowledge that these harmless beetles are extremely beneficial. As a matter of fact, of the 400 plus species that are found in the United States, only about three are considered not beneficial. Furthermore, their bright, royal red color and famous black dotted pattern seems highly superior to many insects that may invade a house or yard. Although these occasional invaders are completely harmless to people and animals, because of their habits of overwintering inside residential buildings and other common structures, they have been considered a nuisance pest. Although they are commonly found, ladybug control is not at all difficult. Of the hundreds of different species that can be found all over the world, there are about 475 species of ladybugs that are found in North America, including the United States.
Ladybugs are known for their harmless and gentle nature. Most people, even children, will recognize a ladybug by their shape, color, and size. Adult ladybugs are very small and robust beetles that are only about 1 mm to 10 mm long. They are very distinct in shape which is a not quite circular but more of a broad oval shape. Their ventral sides, or under side, of the body is virtually flattened, therefore, when you are looking at them from the side, they have a half-circle appearance. The physical characteristic of a ladybug that is the most commonly identified is their color. Ladybugs can range in color from shades of yellow-ish browns to even a black color with bright white and red markings; however, the most familiar pattern on a ladybug is their bright yellow, red, and even orange color with black markings. The elytra are completely hardened and are the part of the body that presents the colors. Also, the elytra completely cover the hind-wings and protect the entire body except for the first two segments, which also includes the head. They possess very short antennae and some people will not even notice their antennae at all.
Ladybugs are known to overwinter during the winter season inside protected areas of warmth which can very well be your house. Adults that have survived the winter season from hibernating inside protected locations will emerge from overwintering and lay eggs as soon as they have emerged from hibernation. They undergo a complete metamorphosis. The larvae itself will undergo 4 molts before they pupate.
The reason why ladybugs are known to be beneficial to the environment is because they are predators of many plant destroying insects like aphids, mealybugs and etc. Moreover, they are predacious of other nuisance insects like mites, scale insects, and other soft-bodied insects. Also, not only are they predacious of adult insects, they will also feed on the eggs of the bugs. There are only about 3 species out of 475 different species that are found in the United States that will feed on plants and may have significance on plant damage.
When the weather begins to cool down in the fall season, fully matured ladybugs will begin to search for protected locations to overwinter in. These places are areas like under leaf build up, under rocks, inhabited structures, and etc. At one point, the USDA released completed generations of ladybugs to use as natural biological control. Unfortunately, however, this has increased indoor residential invasions and although they are essential to natural biological control of some major plant destroying insects, they are now also considered a serious nuisance pest that will frequently invade homes and other structures during the early to late fall season.
Because ladybugs are one of the most beneficial insects that can be found and are also do not have any health or structural threats, there is no real need for direct control. However, large and frequent invasions can possibly become a hassle to control. Therefore, the first and most important method of control will be exclusion. Physical barriers such as screening vents and caulking or sealing any cracks and crevices are methods of exclusion. Make sure all window screens and door screens are tightly fitted and cannot provide and entryway for the ladybugs.
For outdoor control, a correctly labeled liquid insecticide can be applied in a barrier form to further exclude them from the inside of the house. Liquid insecticides should also be sprayed on window frames and door frames. Indoors, there should be no attempt made to kill the ladybugs inside the house. This is mainly because the carcass can attract other larger dermestid beetles that are hard to get rid of and will create structural or material damage like carpet beetles. Instead, be patient and wait for them to leave and proceed with outdoor control and exclusion control methods. Indoor relief of ladybugs can be done with insect light traps that are glue board based. Most species will be attracted to the light traps and will get caught on the glue before they can further invade your home. Light traps will prove to be especially effective in concentrated areas like in the attics and false-ceiling void area.
If you have any questions on the behavior of ladybugs and/or how to get rid of them, feel free to contact us at 1-800-788-4142.
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