Have you ever notice the presence of little orange or red insects with black marking? Are they infesting your space in mass extent? If yes, this article will be the right answer for you. We will discuss 10 top tips to free your space from ladybugs. Before do that, we will guide you to know more about these tree-dwelling insects and identify their specific life cycle and pattern.
There are many terms to call ladybugs, one of them is Asian lady beetle. The Latin name of these insects is Harmonia Axyridis . Actually there is no harm of having ladybugs around our space. Even better, these multicolored beetles can be beneficial for us due to their role as pest controller. Ladybugs eat aphids, spider mites, and pollen. By doing this, ladybugs will control crop pest in your yard. Thanks to them.
The shape of ladybugs usually oval, with 7 mm or ¼ inch length. The color varies from pale yellow-orange, dark orange-red, with specific black marking. You can easily identify ladybugs from the M or W shaped mark located behind their head. That’s why ladybugs can be easily recognized though their color. There are 5000 species of ladybugs worldwide, and you can easily classify them to two categories: plant-feeders and predators.
Ladybugs also bring no harm to human. They usually hide under the shade of leaf litter. Even if they are coming into your home, they won’t feed on your favorite furniture. Before talking about 10 top tips to free your space from ladybugs, it would be nice to talk about the situation when the presence of ladybugs are disturbing.
Why Ladybugs Are Disturbing?
The mass appearance of ladybugs, no wonder, can be one problem for you. Yes we have discussed above that they can help to control crop pest. But if the infestation is not balance, they possibly damage agricultural crop plants. These situation is happened due to the ladybugs from plant-feeders category. Specific ladybugs like squash beetle and Mexican bean beetle, like their name, can feed on crops.
There is also a possibility that if they come to your house in large quantity, they may create allergen symptoms. Don’t be surprised if you or your family members are having asthma, stuffy nose, cough, or conjunctivitis when you have ladybugs crawling all over the house. That’s why it’s important to do 10 top tips to free your space from ladybugs. The infestation of these aphid-eaters also will make your house looks messy. When you are accidentally getting bit by ladybugs, the research center from University of Kentucky Entomology Department said that actually there will be no serious impact . To understand the time and what triggers ladybugs decide to come inside your house, you should know their specific life cycle explained below.
Ladybugs are active during spring until fall. When the temperature drop as the sign of early winter, they will look for shelter to hibernate until the first warm day of winter or early spring. This is the time when these colored beetles most likely will come inside your house. They can be found commonly at United States and Canada. So don’t be surprised if during winter you can easily find ladybugs inside your house .
They will stay for couple of weeks, and if the weather is getting warmer, they actually want to escape from your house. But most of the time this can’t be done easily, right? And we can’t guarantee that you will be comfortable having these beetles around your house and furniture for a month. Ladybugs have the ability to produce foul smell when they feel threatened. This scent comes as defense tactic. They warn the others about the danger, and attract their friends as well. But later, you won’t face that situation no more after doing 10 top tips to free your space from ladybugs.
There are four life stages of ladybugs. First they come as an egg. The second phase is larva. During this phase, they can be tiny alligators. This process takes place around 2 weeks. Next, they will transform from larva to become adult beetles, called pupal. This stage happens for about 12 days. Later, the last stage is adult beetles. It needs 1 until 2 months until they hatch. The female beetles can multiply very quickly. That’s why we are frequent to meet these Coccinellidae insects around us. The eggs will be laid during spring and early summer. One female ladybug can produce up to 1000 eggs at one time! The process takes place around couple of weeks, depends on the temperature and population.
What Attract Ladybugs?
But you must be wondering how could these ladybugs come to your house? And why did they choose your house at the first place instead of other houses? We have summarize the reasons for you. If the situation is probably similar to what happened with you, then that must be the reason. But no worries, later we will give you 10 top tips to free your space from ladybugs.
- Shady Areas. The ladybugs like to hide below shady areas, like what we mentioned earlier, leaf litter. The house can also be shady areas especially the south side of building. This side won’t be exposed to sun directly thus make it shady.
- Forested Areas. Are you staying in landscaped industrial setting? If yes, then you are staying near the population of ladybugs. Houses in forested areas can be favorite place for ladybugs to stay until spring comes. Adult beetles need shelter to hibernate during winter.
- Light-colored Buildings. Notice your house exterior paint. Is it light or dark color? If the answer is light, then you are attracting ladybugs. They like light-colored houses or buildings rather than the dark one.
- Flowering Plants. Check the plants near your window and doors. If you place flowering plants near these areas, no wonder ladybugs will most likely come to your house. These plants produce aphids and pollen, the primary food sources for ladybugs. Place it on the place far from your house if possible. If not, just make it invisible from the outside.
- During fall, the ladybugs will be active looking for shelter to hibernate. They need it immediately, unless they won’t survive. The crack on windows and doors are the entry point of ladybugs. They are not coming alone, because each of this spotted-appearance insect can produce a scent that attracts the others. If one of them is already succeed making its way to your house, it’s just about time that their colony will come to follow. That’s why it’s important the 10 top tips to free your space from ladybugs.
10 Top Tips to Free Your Space from Ladybugs
There are numerous tips to free your space from ladybugs. Some of them can be done easily at home. Just remember to do it carefully. If it involves chemical liquid, make sure the kids and pets at your home don’t have the access into it. Let’s start the list of 10 top tips to free your space from ladybugs:
1. Fix Broken Window Screen
It is common that your door got jammed or patched. Fix it immediately if winter is about to come. Use silicone to caulk the gaps. This method also called as winterizing your home. Seal the doors tightly, and replace broken weather stripping. By doing this, there is no entry point for the ladybugs. As a bonus, the heat won’t get easily released from your house.
2. Vacuum Cleaner to the Rescue
If your home already got infested by large amount of ladybugs, vacuum it. Use the vacuum with hose attachment. Before doing so, make sure that your vacuum is empty. To guarantee that the ladybugs won’t escape easily after being vacuumed, place unused stocking inside the house. Wrap it with rubber band. Make sure that the stocking is not stuck. When you have done it, release the ladybugs outside, far from your home. You can also throw to a sealed plastic bags and burn it.
3. Choose Your Plant Wisely
There are things that ladybugs don’t like, and one of them is mums. Plant mums around your windows and doors. You can also place the mums on the shady area to make ladybugs take a distance with your home. Do you know? Mums is the key ingredient of flea powder that can effectively get rid of insects.
4. Make Ladybugs Repellent
You have to know exactly the smell that ladybugs like and dislike. You can easily make ladybugs repellent from the smells they hate. First, you can make a citrus spray. Ladybugs hate citrus or citronella scents. Use this and spray it on areas possibly infested by ladybugs. Second, make small bag of cloves. Place it on area heavily infested by ladybugs. Third, wrap bay leaves in small pouches. This can also work as ladybugs repellent. Fourth, you can also consider camphor and menthol as ladybugs repellent. Ladybugs can’t stand strong odors. Spread it on shady areas or the places where they stay.
5. Diatomaceous Earth Powder
This powder is your savior. Not only ladybugs, diatomaceous earth powder can work to deter other creatures. Spread this powder at the base of your home. This powder contains sharp algae. If the ladybugs walk through it, the algae will run through their exoskeleton. Once this happens, ladybugs will die because they are unable to hold the moisture anymore. But please do this very carefully and make sure that your kids and pets don’t have direct access to the powder.
6. Time to Make Over the House?
Perhaps this method needs a lot of thinking and preparation. But yes, this one can be concluded as one of 10 top tips to free your space from ladybugs. We do agree that it’s impossible to move your home from forested areas. But you can paint the wall with darker color, especially the south area. Check regularly the shady area of your home, the place which doesn’t get direct sun exposure. By doing this, you can make sure to keep ladybugs outside. You can also place fly traps on your window.
7. Blacklight Traps
Ever heard of blacklight traps? This is light traps that can attract the insects. An entomologist from University of Arkansas Dr. John Hopkins recommended this method as the effective and cheapest one. That’s why we decide to insert it to 10 top tips to free your space from ladybugs. Here’s how: punch 4 holes among the metal tip of light bulb. Make sure that the holes are loose. Screw black light bulb to the lamp. Place the transparency film along the center. You can also add baby powder to this film to make it harder for ladybugs to escape. And then join the 2 pieces of film to make X shape. Punch a hole in each piece, so there will be 8 holes. Meanwhile, prepare 2 milk jugs. Cut the bottom of one milk jug. Also cut the lids of each jug. Cut 4 holes into the edge of the first jug. This will work as the place for falling ladybugs. Once you’ve done creating it, place on dark areas in your home.
8. Spray Exterior Walls
Use synthetic pyrethroid to spray your exterior walls. Remember, do the spraying from the bottom to up, as high as you can reach. You can also use water soluble insecticide and mix it with gallon of water.
9. Oil Spray
You can easily make soap and water traps. First, place a bowl filled with soapy water. Add vegetable oil onto it. The light from the water will attract ladybugs. Make sure to add liquid dish soap to make it slippery and ladybugs can’t escape easily. The use of neem oil spray can also disrupt the life cycle of insects in any stage. Use 2 neem mix with water and soap and spray it on infestated areas.
10. Ladybug House
We can’t deny that the presence of ladybugs give us benefit. If that’s what you think, just build ladybug house on your yard. This will be their shelter and protect them through the winter. They can hibernate inside the house instead of staying on yours.
Please take a note that you must never pinch or pick up ladybugs with your hand. This method will startle them and make them produce yellow substance that can leave stain forever. This yellow scent comes from blood. Unfortunately, it will attract the other ladybugs to your home. Do all the methods fast because they are moving in quickly. You can also sweep them gently if the location is not too far from your door. Remember to not startle them. If you need to remove them, use soft washcloth filled with citronella scent to prevent them from coming back. We hope that these 10 tips to free your space from ladybugs can help you to have better situation on your home.