Getting Rid of Asian Beetles

Asian Beetles

Often confused with Ladybugs, Asian beetles can invade your home in vast numbers. This is a guide about getting rid of Asian beetles.


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Article: Autumn Ladybug Invasions

Autumn Ladybug InvasionsLadybug beetles, also known as Asian Lady Beetles or Ladybird beetles, are a gardener's best friend in the spring and summer months. In the world of beneficial garden insects, you won't find a better predator when it comes to controlling soft-bodied pest like aphids and scale. By the time fall rolls around, however, these insect friends start wearing out their welcome when they begin to congregate on the sides of buildings and invading our indoor environments.

Asian vs. Native Species

The ladybugs accumulating on your walls and windows are most often the Asian Lady Beetle variety, although some native species will follow suit if conditions warrant. These beetles were first imported from Asia into the United States in 1916 and released as a biological control for certain species of insects. For a long time it was assumed that they failed to establish themselves, until they turned up in 1988 in New Orleans. They are currently found in every part of the United States. Asian Lady Beetles are about 1/3 of an inch long. Compared to other lady beetle species, Asian Lady Beetles come in a wider range of colors and spot numbers. Wings range from black to mustard; spots number zero to more than a dozen. The most common U.S. form is mustard to red with 16 or more black spots. The Asian Lady Beetle can also often be identified by a black mark resembling the letter "M" (or "W") located between its head and abdomen.

Ladybeetle Behavior

As part of the Asian Lady Beetle life cycle, as soon as a hard frost occurs in the fall, adult beetles look for a cool, dry place to spend the winter. Throughout their native range in Asia, a winter shelter usually consists of cavities or caves in south-facing cliffs where the temperature is cool and the air is dry. This explains why they tend to congregate on the exterior walls of south-facing buildings before sometimes making their way inside through tiny cracks and holes in your siding and insulation. They will not attack wood, fabric or people, they just want to hibernate. When the weather warms up in the spring, the ladybeetles will make a hasty retreat back outdoors.

So why do piles of dead ladybugs collect in your window sill over winter? Once inside your home, ladybugs will naturally gravitate towards the light-usually making their way to your windows. Because the temperature indoors is warmer and dryer than the temperature outdoors, the ladybeetles' metabolism gears up for summer again. A high metabolism coupled with no source of food causes them to quickly use up their winter reserves and die. This is why it's best to capture ladybeetles and return them to the outdoors where cooler temperatures will slow down their metabolism until spring.

Waking Up To The Light

For ladybeetles that hibernate inside the cracks and crevices of exterior walls, an occasional calm, sunny winter day, combined with a steady increase in daylight and a southern exposure, is often enough to generate sufficient amounts of radiant energy (temps may reach near 50º F) to wake the beetles up from their winter naps. Once they wake up they begin crawling around and sometimes make their way inside you home. This is why even though it may only be 25º F degrees outside, ladybugs can mysteriously appear in your living room in the middle of winter.

Controlling Indoor Invasions

The best way to control Lady Beetle invasions is to seal up and repair any cracks and crevices around windows, eaves, doors, insulation and siding. Pay close attention to places where pipes, conduits and wires enter your home. Planting trees near south-facing exterior walls may also offer long term control by providing the beetles shelter for the winter.

Ladybugs are tough little bugs. The best way to remove them is to use a broom, wash rag or a vacuum cleaner with a dirt trap that can be emptied (e.g. Dust Buster). If you can, return the bugs to the outdoors so they'll be around to feed on your garden pests next season. You can also release them onto your indoor plants. Wet the leaves down with a spray bottle, drop the lady bug onto your plant and quickly shut off any lights in the room. This is best done at night, because ladybugs have an instinctive tendency to fly toward any light source when preparing for hibernation.

Why Insecticides Are Impractical

There are several commercial sprays and dusts available that claim to prevent or control Asian Lady Beetles. These insecticides are impractical, because there is no way to get to areas where the ladybugs are congregating in mass, and fall weather puts the bug's physiological activity near zero, which make them less susceptible to insecticides. In order to kill ladybugs indoors, you would have to apply the spray to surfaces, such as counter-tops, where residual chemicals could be hazardous to your health.

A Note About Allergies & Bites

Although it is uncommon, Asian Lady Beetles can cause allergic reactions in some people. Symptoms include itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion and a runny nose. Asian Beetles do not carry disease and they do not have any toxins associated with their mouthparts. Occasionally they may pinch your skin when being handled, but they seldom break the skin. You may also feel a slight prick on your skin when handling the beetles. This is caused from small spurs on the beetle's hind legs which it uses to establish whether or not something is edible. Don't worry, you're not. In the unlikely event you become concerned over a pinch or a prick, wash the site with soap and water and apply an antiseptic.

By Ellen Brown

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Getting Rid of Lady Bugs

Getting Rid of Lady BugsThis guide is about getting rid of lady bugs. These insects can be a nuisance in some parts of the country.


Tip: Asian Ladybug Deterrent

I have used this idea for the past several years and it works well for me: scatter bay leaves around on window sills or anywhere else flat you can place them. It keeps them away. The next fall I do it again. I haven't been bothered since. If you have ever been bit by one of these buggers, you're willing to try anything. They are nasty.

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Here are questions related to Getting Rid of Asian Beetles.

Question: Ladybugs in the House

I have a problem with ladybugs! I am staying in a cabin up in Tennessee with my family and just today I noticed something, one tiny little ladybug. Then, I saw another, then 3 more, then 5 more, then 20 more!

We are only in the cabin for a few days, so we can't tape the doors or anything. There are so many! I'm not sure if they came from the Christmas tree or the windows, or whatever. Does anyone have any suggestions? Please help!

By Nikki from TN

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Best Answers

By Myrna [15] 12/27/2010

They are a pest aren't they? Beings it is winter time, you may not feel like crawling under the house to set insect repellant bomb sprays around, but that has worked for us over the years. In the meantime, get pour a bit of PineSol into a glass jar with lid (so they can't crawl out) In a few seconds, the beetles die. The PineSol is strong enough to cover the odor the beetles release and when you get enough beetles in the jar, just flush the contents into the commode and start all over again. It's a bit of a nuisance, but you will do better at getting more of them if a lamplight is left on as this type of beetle heads where there's more lighting.

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By Deanj 12/27/2010

Lady bugs are harmless and beneficial as they eat other bugs. They come in the house looking for a warm spot for the winter. I just sweep them up and toss them out side. Do not crush them. They give off an odor if crushed.

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Question: Asian Ladybug Trap

A couple warmer sunny days and the asian ladybug beetles have landed. Somewhere I saw I recipe to put in a gallon plastic jug to attract them, like a trap. Any ideas?

Diane from Mid Missouri

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By Donna Strome Belleville, MI. (Guest Post) 03/12/2007

I heard it was 1/2 c. water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 squirt of dish soap, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Good luck.

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By Dan. (Guest Post) 10/12/2008

An easy and less energy expensive way to get the ladybugs off the ceilings and floor in your house is to buy a big mouth 1 liter pepsi or mountain dew. After drinking fill the bottom with a little water. Since the ladybugs fall like a rock when you touch them you can just put the bottle head up and tap them into the bottle.

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Question: Removing Odor of Ladybugs from House

How do I get ladybug scent out of my house?

By Trudy from Trout Run, PA

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Best Answers


I had no clue that ladybugs smelled bad! :-o Reading the following link I just can't help but ask how many are in your home? :-o The link explains what the compounds are that create their smell but I think you're going to need to do the homework about those compounds to find out how to get rid of the odor :-(


In the meantime, try putting out small bowls of vinegar in out of the way places around your home because vinegar absorbs a lot of nasty odors. And maybe an exterminator can give you other ideas of how to remove the odor.

Let us know what you find out please :-)

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By MB Norton [6] 03/26/2010

They are probably not lady bugs but an orange look alike called the Asian beetle. They smell bad when smashed and stain as well. They usually get really bad in the fall during harvest as they get kicked up out of the soy plants, corn, etc. They crawl into cracks and crevices to overwinter. I haven't figured out to get them to leave on their own. I vacuum them with a dust buster or my regular vacuum. This way they don't get smashed.

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Question: Getting Rid of Asian Beetles

Every fall, when the soybeans are picked, we are swarmed by Asian beetles. They come inside through the tiniest crack around windows and doors. They smell terrible when they are crushed. How can we keep them outside?

By Jean

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Best Answer

By Myrna [15] 10/31/2011

Here's what we do around the home front: Get those cans of bombing spray (Family Dollar) for insect control. Place them under your house in various locations. Close all doorways to the crawl space. This helps control most of the problem. Those that do get inside the house, I use a glass jar with a lid and about 1/4 cup of Pine Sol. Using the lid, scoop the beetles into the jar and close up. Give a gentle shake and they die without the odor. When you have enough beetles in the jar of Pine Sol, you can flush down the commode and start again.

Beetles are attracted to light; ceiling lights, lamps, computer screen you will find them crawling up the walls near them. You might want to keep several jars around the house in different places for easy access to help control. Using a vacuum on them to suck 'em up only helps make their odor linger and not too pleasant when using the vacuum either.

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Question: Keeping Asian Beetles Out of My House

I am looking for a natural way to get rid of Asian lady bugs in the house. I have vacuumed them up in past years, but they continue to come in during the spring time. I just want them to go away. I have an old house so they have lots of places to get in.

By Kippy from Ashtabula, OH

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Best Answer

By Deanj 04/23/2009

The lady bugs are harmless. I live in the North and every fall my house is covered with the bugs. Some show up in the house all winter long. lady bugs eat other smaller bugs. They can get in the house through the smallest of openings. So you may want to close up any openings you may find. Other than that just sweep them up and toss them outside.

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