If you’ve never had a ladybug infestation, you might perceive these bugs as friendly insects due to their bright colors, spotted appearance, and harmless look.
In fact, most people consider ladybugs as beneficial insects, since they feed on crop pests like aphids and spider mites. However, with over 5,000 known ladybug species, it goes without saying that not all are friendly visitors.
Some ladybug species like the Mexican Bean beetle and the Squash Beetle heavily feed on food crops, making them a nightmare to many farmers and gardeners. They attack in huge numbers, making it difficult to control them.
Before you know how to control them, you need to understand why they infest:
Where Are Ladybugs Likely to Infest?
Ladybugs tend to gather on ceilings, behind walls, siding cracks and crevices, door jams, and window panes.
What Attracts Ladybugs to Your House?
If your home has a lot of flowering plants, they may attract aphids, which are the main food source for ladybugs.
A number of ladybug species feed on pollen to help store energy during winter hibernation. If your home provides warm and comfortable spots for them to live through the winter, they’ll certainly make themselves at home.
Signs of a Ladybug Infestation
If you notice yellow stains and pungent scents on your walls, clothes, and floorboards, you may have a ladybug infestation. Also, if you spot large numbers of larvae on your plants and in your outdoor spaces, you should start preparing for an infestation.
Ladybugs are not known to carry diseases. However, if there’s a large infestation, it may trigger allergic reactions. The symptoms become evident when you get in contact with the ladybugs.
Signs of an allergic reaction to ladybugs are:
- Red and itchy eyes
- Itchy skin
What Is the Difference Between Ladybugs and Asian Lady Beetles?
A lot of people confuse Asian lady beetles for ladybugs. To effectively control a ladybug infestation, you need to ensure that you’re dealing with the right insect.
The lady beetles have dark orange backs, while ladybugs are bright red. Both have some markings on the head, but the Asian lady beetle has more whitish marks.
What’s more, the lady beetles are larger and are more elongated toward an oval shape. The most distinctive feature of the Asian lady beetles is a white M-shaped spot behind their heads. Ladybugs have a more rounded shape.
Unlike ladybugs, the Asian lady beetles are aggressive and actually bite when you come into contact with them. If your pet eats the Asian lady beetle, the bug releases chemicals that burn the pet’s digestive tract. This may result in ulcers, which will affect your pet’s appetite.
15 Ladybug Infestation Treatment Solutions
Check out these simple and practical solutions to terminating a ladybug infestation in your home:
1. Seal the Gaps and Cracks
During winter, ladybugs are always looking for a warm place to hibernate – and the cracks of your home provide a conducive environment. To prevent the infestation, identify all the ladybug entryways in your house and seal them. Pay keen attention to your doors, windows, chimneys, sidings, gable vents, pipe openings, ridge, soffit, conduit, and utility wires. You can close gaps and cracks using caulk.
Also, don’t forget to replace or repair damaged door and window screens.
2. Plant Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums flowers are the primary ingredient in flea powder, making them an effective insect repellant. Plant them around your house to fend off any ladybug infestation.
3. Use a Vacuum Cleaner
If there’s a large infestation of ladybugs, put your vacuum cleaner to work and collect the ladybugs in dust bag. Dispose of the bag properly to ensure that the ladybugs don’t make their way back. You can drop it off in another location away from your home.
4. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth kills insects without damaging the environment or harming people. The non-toxic powder is obtained from fossilized diatoms and is extensively used by agriculturalists as an anticaking agent. Sprinkle some diatomaceous earth around the affected areas in your home. This compound will have a dehydrating effect on the ladybugs, killing them almost immediately.
5. Use Dark Colors on Your Walls
Ladybugs are often attracted to bright colors. If the area you live in is prone to ladybug infestations, you might want to get dark shades on your walls to keep them away. Additionally, use dark blinds and drapers on your windows.
6. Camphor and Methanol
Ladybugs are very sensitive to the strong scent of mint in camphor and methanol.
For this preventive measure, take equal camphor and methanol measures and mix with water to form a solution. Shake the mixture well and spray it around your home, especially in affected areas or probable hideouts.
The strong odor will drive the ladybugs out of your house immediately.
7. Use Bay Leaves
Bay leaves are generally good repellants of insects and rodents because of their leaves’ distinct odor. To prevent a ladybug infestation, you can spread bay leaves around your house or hang them on affected areas.
8. Ward Ladybugs Off With Cloves
Cloves have a unique smell that easily irritates ladybugs repelling them instantly. Simply sprinkles some cloves on the infested areas and watch them leave. You can also spray some clove oil for the same effect.
9. Use Dishwashing Soap
Make a solution with dishwashing soap and water and spray it over the ladybug infested areas. This will not only kill the ladybugs but also eliminate the odor that ladybugs leave behind. For best results, use scented dishwashing soap.
10. Use Ammonia
Ammonia is a perfect way of instantly getting rid of ladybugs and deterring them for a long time. Ammonia has a strong smell that irritates most insects including ladybugs. By soaking a rag into an ammonia solution and then wiping your doors, surfaces, and windows with it, ladybugs won’t find your home conducive.
11. Use a Light Trap
Ladybugs are normally attracted to brown light. You can create homemade light traps with black or violet light bulbs to lure the ladybugs, and then catch them with your vacuum cleaner or spray them with one of the solutions above.
12. Use Borax (Boric Acid)
Boric acid repels ladybugs without harming the user or the environment. Nonetheless, you should avoid spraying it directly to your body.
The smell of the acid will naturally repel the ladybugs from your home. Make sure you use and store the solution away from children and pets.
13. Use the Citric Scent
Mix lemon essential oil or wild orange essential oil with water and spray the mixture on ladybug infested areas. The citric scent will also repel the ladybugs.
14. Hang Flypapers
Flypapers are not only efficient in trapping houseflies in your home, but they can also be used for ladybugs. For efficient results, hang flypapers at areas that will most probably get infested by ladybugs.
To make your own sticky trap, coat the sides of a stiff paper strip with a fruit-smelling sugary syrup. The sweet smell will attract the ladybug and trap it. After catching the bugs, put them in a sealed plastic bag before disposing of them.
Don’t pick out ladybugs with your bare hands as they could stain or leave a bad odor.
15. Call a Pest Control Expert
If you’re unable to utilize any of the above methods for one reason or another, call your local pest exterminators. While they’ll charge you for their services, pest control professionals have the right equipment and skills to deal with all kinds of pests including ladybugs.
You can get a free estimate online from licensed exterminators in your area.
Act Fast When You Notice a Ladybug Infestation
Once you notice signs of ladybug infestation in your house, it’s important to try out one of the above methods as soon as possible. Ladybugs multiply really fast and attract others with their scent. If you slack for a little while, your home will be swarming with bugs in no time, and things may get out of hand.
It’s also important to take preventative measures before the “ladybug infestation season” kicks in. Also, ensure you confirm that you have a ladybug infestation (and not an Asian Lady Beetle one) before you use the above pest control measures.
Keywords: ladybug infestation