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Asian Lady Beetle or Lady Bug?

Both insects may have “lady” in their name, but only one of these is a true lady.

Can you Spot the True Lady?

Can you spot the TRUE ladybug?

Here Are 5 Tips for Determining Whether You Have a Lady Bug or its’ Cousin, the Asian Lady Beetle. 

1. Color Check: A ladybug is red, while the color of an Asian lady beetle can vary between red, orange, or tan.

2. Size: In this case, the bigger isn’t better. Asian lady beetles are typically larger than a ladybug,sizing in at 7 mm long and 5.5 mm wide.

3. Find the “M”: Asian lady beetles have a visible M-shaped black marking on their white head that will separate them from the ladybugs which typically have a black head with white spots. The M-shape on the Asian lady will vary in size, robustness, and shape, but it will always be present. Check out the example below!

Note the "M," which marks this as an Asian Lady Beetle.

4. Do you see the spots? Ladybugs ALWAYS have one black mark on each wing covering on their back while Asian lady beetle may or may not. Is your specimen without black spots on its wings?If so, you have found yourself an Asian lady beetle!

Now that you have some tips to determine which bug has taken up residence in your garden or home, let’s talk about the bugs independently. 

Ladybugs, First and Foremost!

A ladybug is as sweet and picturesque as it sounds. The insect is harmless and beneficial to the environment. Typically, ladybugs do not bite, however, it can occur on the rare occasion.

Once the weather gets cold, ladybugs will seek shelter alone, outside under piles of leaves, rocks, or logs.

Do You Treat for Ladybugs?

In New York State it is illegal to spray for ladybugs. If you have a problem with “ladybugs” it is probably its cousin the Asian lady beetle.

Let's talk Asian Lady Beetles: The Mean Cousin

To an untrained eye, the Asian lady beetle can look identical to a ladybug. An Asian lady beetle however has many characteristics that set it apart from the true ladybug.

Asian lady beetles, while being a friend to the gardener, are not a friend to the homeowner, as they tend to fly in swarms and love finding a warm and cozy place to hibernate within your home. These nuisance pests are drawn to reflective and warm places like sliding doors and windows.

Asian lady beetles are also known for “biting” those they land on (though the bite is technically a scratch on the skin surface rather than a bite). An Asian lady beetle will also release an odorous yellow liquid when it feels threatened, called “reflex bleeding.” This is not dangerous but it could cause a minor allergic response, as well as stain the walls or fabric it lands on.

How Do You Treat for Asian Lady Beetles?

We treat Asian lady beetles using an exterior spray that goes on at the beginning of October or the end of October, depending on whether or not New York State has experienced an Indian summer.

Why Are Their Asian Lady Beetles in My Home?

It’s simply the environment. Asian lady beetles are coming into your home to hibernate for the winter.

Tips to a Bug-Free Zone

These pests are attracted to your home due to its geography and their desire to find a cozy place to shelter for the winter. Sadly, there is no home improvement project that a home owner can do to prevent the Asian lady beetle allurement to your home.

If you do find your home is a hot spot for Asian lady beetles, and you are looking to DIY, I would suggest waiting until the cold weather sets in (around December), heading up to your attic, and fogging your attic with a “flea-bomb” type mechanism. From a legality standpoint, you’ll want to make sure the label says “Asian lady beetles.”

When DIY Isn’t Enough, Call the Bug Guys

When in doubt, or when DIY is of no interest, call Sweeney’s Pest Elimination for a preventative treatment and the elimination of your Asian Lady Beetle problem.

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