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Elimination

To keep this from happening, it is important to prevent lady beetle infestation. But because they are such useful insects, it’s best to use physical exclusion methods to keep them from getting in. For instance, you should seal the cracks in and around your doors, windows, siding, pipes, and electric cables and fix any broken screens. If they manage to infiltrate anyway, sweep them up with a broom and release them outside, as far from the house as possible.

If effective sealing is impossible and you can't stand having them in your home, you can apply Maheu&Maheu Insecticide Dust to cracks and gaps and under your siding. This should be used only as a last resort because, after all, lady beetles are very handy to have around!

Actions

  • Spray or treat entry points on the outside walls of the house with an insecticide labeled for this use

Prevention

  • Seal the outsides of windows, doors, eaves, chimneys, etc. as completely as possible.

Description and development

Lady beetles are members of the Coleoptera order, Coccinellidaefamily. There are at least 480 species in North America. They have a characteristic oval or round shape. Their underside is flat and their back is convex. Their elytra (hard pair of wings typical of beetles) can be red, orange, yellow, or black. The number of spots on their elytra ranges from 0 to 20. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t tell the age of a lady beetle by counting its spots, but you can tell its species and sex. These insects vary from 0.8 to 10 mm in length.The entire lady beetle life cycle plays out on plants. The female lays her eggs (about 100) under a plant’s leaves near a food source. The larva and adults are carnivores and live close to their prey, aphids. A lady beetle can eat 600 to 1,200 aphids during its development. Mealy bugs and acarids living on plants are also a food source.
The life cycle (from egg to adult) takes about one month depending on the species and in the right environmental conditions. There can be more than one generation a year. Adults can live for over 3 years.</i>

Habits

Like the larvae, adult lady beetles are voracious predators, consuming scores of aphids a day. Aphids are daunting garden enemies, which makes lady beetles a gardener’s best friend.

Nevertheless, when these insects converge on our homes en masse in late August or September (depending on the region), they can become a real nuisance. Most often, it is the multicolored Asian lady beetle (I]Harmonia axyridis) that infiltrates buildings in the fall. They can be seen swarming on the exterior siding. When disturbed, their natural defense is to secrete a brownish substance, so they may leave behind marks on the siding. And they sometimes even bite—not hard enough to break the skin, but enough to startle you.

Asian lady beetles look for structural openings where they can huddle into groups and hibernate. When the temperature warms up, they gather at windows, attracted by the light. Inevitably, some of the hibernating insects can’t find their way back outside come spring. Their carcasses accumulate and attract larder beetles, which take up residence in the walls and eventually find their way into the rooms of your home.

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