These Imposter Ladybugs Are Back and Invading New York Homes
Ping, ping, ping. That’s the sound of what my son calls “imposter ladybugs” flinging themselves against the siding of my house what feels like all day long.
If your house has been taken over by what look to be adorable little ladybugs, it probably hasn’t. Back again and with a vengeance are Asian lady beetles that are pretty decent dupes for harmless ladybugs.
Asian lady beetles showed up in New York in 1994 with the first one being discovered in Chemung County however, it's only been in the last decade or so that these insects have become a big issue. These little bugs are looking for a warm and cozy place to hang out during winter and your house is everything they want.
Except that the last place that you want them - is in your house because once they're in, they'll just keep coming back.
Asian lady beetles come in a variety of colors from red to yellow and even orange and tan however, the most common color is a deep orange. The best way to tell the difference between an Asian lady beetle and a ladybug is that Asian lady beetles have a black "W" (or "M", depending on what way you're looking at the bug) on their head.
People have been known to suck up these imposter ladybugs with their vacuum and think they solved the problem but these little boogers are resilient and they will survive being sucked up by a vacuum and duped in the trash.
Instead of resorting to pesticides to rid your home of these little bugs (you don't want to kill off other good bugs), there are a few things that you can do to rid your home of these pesky invaders.
The first thing you want to do is make sure your house is completely sealed. Caulk any cracks, especially small ones. Then, make sure that your screens are intact, patching any holes. Replace weather stripping and add door sweeps to your exterior doors.
While you can vacuum up Asian lady beetles, make sure that you empty the canister or vacuum bag outside – better yet, dump the canister or bag into a zip lock bag, seal it, and put it in an outdoor trash can, that will be best because they won't be able to get out and find their way back to your house.
Keep in mind that if an Asian lady beetle feels like you’re threatening it, it will release an unpleasant smell and if you squish it, it will leave a yellowish stain on whatever surface you squished it on. Oh, and they like to bite humans. Fun.