(Also called multicolored Asian lady beetles or spotted lady beetles)
This insect gets its name from the fact that it is beautiful, gentle and elegantly dressed.
How to Identify Lady Bugs
Multicolored Asian lady beetle adults are small to moderate in size – about 7/32 to 1/4 of an inch long, oval and can be red, yellow, orange or black in color. North American populations range in color from yellow-orange to bright red-orange, with or without black spots. Their antennae are very short and usually not noticeable. The lady bug has a pronotum (found just behind the head) that is ivory with black markings that look like a W or M when viewed from the front or the back. The beetle has a chemical defense to discourage predators. This foul-smelling chemical is also present in their hemolymph (blood) and the beetles will “reflex bleed” when agitated, releasing hemolymph through the joints on their legs. This discharge will cause staining. They are found throughout much of the eastern U.S., including our service areas of Charlotte, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Wilmington, NC.
Where do these Lady Bugs Come From?
They have been introduced from Asia by organic gardeners to be a biological control measure against aphids, mealy bugs, mites and other soft-bodied insects. In their native home, large numbers of lady bugs overwinter in mountains and craggy outcrops. Because North Carolina does not have the granite mountain features that the beetles seek to pass the winter, they are attracted to light-colored houses on the horizon that mimic the usual hibernation sites.
Where do you See these Lady Bugs?
- Until recently, this insect was not even noticed inside homes and structures. Since their introduction into the US in 1979, their spread has increased rapidly with high populations developing quickly.
- Because of their overwintering behavior, the beetles congregate in homes and structures in and around siding, eaves and attics, much like overwintering wasps.
- On occasional warm winter days, they can be observed in living quarters, where they are attracted to lights.
- NOTE: Although these beetles are considered beneficial, their hibernation habits make them more of a nuisance than a pest.
- Occasionally they will bite people as a way of obtaining salt. In addition, some people have exhibited an allergic reaction when they have come in contact with the hemolymph.
Ways to prevent lady bugs (lady beetles) from entering the home:
- Seal gaps around doors and windows
- Install chimney caps with screens
- Repair foundation cracks
- Seal siding cracks
- Repair foundation vent screens
- Seek professional assistance and a pest prevention plan
Economy Exterminators’ Pest Elimination Plus program uses the 3-step approach to solve your lady bug pest problem:
- Our 1st step is the inspection of the property by a Raleigh, Charlotte or Wilmington customer service representative. It is very important to know the species involved and the severity of the lady bug problem.
- The 2nd step is the initial treatment by a customer service representative of all areas that the inspection revealed as critical. Economy Exterminators uses the newest and most effective materials to solve this pest problem fast for you. Typically, critical areas include the living room, bedrooms, vaulted ceiling areas and attics.
- The 3rd step is a 37-point inspection to identify areas that give lady bugs easy access to your property — cracks in the foundation, gaps in siding and around windows and doors.
- Lady bugs are included in Economy’s 44 covered pests under Pest Elimination Plus, our ongoing maintenance program.