Asian lady beetles invade homes in fall, says expert

While helpful in the summer, these ladybug-lookalikes can be a nuisance in the colder months.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 5:49 PM EST
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) -With Thanksgiving in just a few days, you may be expecting guests. However, you may have one guest that you didn’t expect already living in your home.

The Asian lady beetle was brought overseas in the eighties to combat the pecan aphids down south before spreading to West Virginia in 1992. They bear a resemblance to their American lady beetle counterpart, often known as the ladybug, but can come in a variety of warm hues unlike the ladybug’s bright red look. Also unlike the ladybug, Asian lady beetles can bite, usually not hard enough to break the skin but still enough to hurt. As a form of defense, they also “reflex bleed” out of their joints which can stain furniture. While in the summer, they spend time with their American cousins outside, in the fall, they welcome themselves inside homes to stay for the winter in a dormant state. We spoke to a pest expert who says the best way to deal with these unwanted guests is to prevent them from getting inside by sealing cracks and using outdoor insecticides in mid-October. However, with November here, you’ll need to try a different approach.

“Once they get inside, insecticides are of limited value. Basically, you’re limited to vacuuming up beetles when you see them (that may go on and off all winter long) and then you could also consider using a black light trap in a dark room... These [Asian lady beetles] are attracted to black light...” says Dr. Berry Crutchfield, Plant Pest Biologist for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.

Dr. Crutchfield doesn’t suggest using electric bug zappers due to the risk of fire. If you have any questions on identification or prevention, he says you can email or by calling 304-558-2212.