When the temperatures cool off in fall, Asian lady beetles or lady bugs can become a problem for homeowners in the Hilton Head area. Some of these colorful bugs decide to head indoors in search of a warmer place to stay during winter. Find out more about this behavior and when you should get help for an Asian lady beetle or ladybug problem from professional Hilton Head pest control services.
Invasive Lady Bugs
Some lady bugs are native to SC, while others have come here from other parts of the world. The Asian lady beetle is an invasive species that came from parts of Asia, including China, Korea, Japan and Russia. These bugs were first discovered in Louisiana back in 1988 and have spread to other parts of the U.S. since then. In South Carolina, they have been used to help control aphids and other agricultural pests that damage crops.
Identifying Asian Lady Beetles
Asian lady beetles are easily identified by their vivid coloring. These bugs have coloring that ranges from red and orange to tan and distinctive black spots on their wings. Females tend to have more of these spots than males. Some Asian lady beetles also have a dark marking in the shape of a W or M behind their head.
Asian Lady Beetle Behavior
Asian lady beetles lay eggs on the undersides of leaves. These yellowish, oval eggs are usually laid in groups. After hatching, the larvae and pupae stages take about a month to complete before becoming fully grown adults. Once they’re adults, these beetles generally survive for up to three years.
Asian lady beetles are typically found in crops, where they feed on aphids and other pests. The beetle larvae can end up feeding on hundreds of aphids per day, which helps protect gardens and crops from damage. These beetles don’t have much to fear as far as predators go. They have very few natural predators in the U.S., and they’re able to deter predators by producing an unpleasant fluid from the joints in their legs.
Asian Lady Beetles in Fall
Asian lady beetles can die from exposure to extremely cold temperatures, which causes them to seek warm shelter before winter arrives. In fall, these bugs sometimes gather in big groups on the outside of buildings. This tends to happen during the afternoon when temperatures are warmer. Some of these beetles are able to make it inside, where they stay inside wall cavities, attic spaces and other areas until spring arrives. Keep in mind that they tend to be drawn to shinier surfaces or contrasting colors on surfaces of building exteriors, and they usually go to the southwestern side of buildings where it’s sunnier.
Problems with Asian Lady Beetles
Asian lady beetles are generally admired rather than feared by humans. They rarely bite, they don’t sting and they don’t spread any infectious diseases. Although some might bite if you disturb them, this generally feels like a slight pinch. Asian lady beetles won’t cause structural damage to homes either, but there are times when large infestations require Hilton Head pest control services. Keep in mind that these beetles can emit an unpleasant odor if you bother them, and they might leave unsightly yellow stains on surfaces inside your home.
Preventing Asian Lady Beetle Problems
You can stop these beetles from entering your home by sealing up entry points, such as gaps around doors, cracks in fascia boards and tears in window screens. If you do have them inside, you can vacuum them up to remove them. For a more serious infestation, you should seek help from Hilton Head pest control services.
If Asian lady beetles or lady bugs have infested your home, contact Island Pest Control for help. Our technicians provide Hilton Head pest control services that you can depend on, including a free 58-point inspection.