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Regulating Ladybugs
and Asian Lady Beetles

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Managing Ladybug and Asian Lady Beetle Swarms

The Asian lady beetle resembles the indigenous American ladybug, but it’s actually an invasive species of the Coccinellidae family brought to the United States in the mid-1980s. The U.S. Department of Agriculture attempted to establish the Asian lady beetle to control agricultural pests like aphids who eat and destroy crops. However, over time this beetle displaced the native ladybugs and by the 1990s became the dominant Coccinellidae species throughout the states. Homes, businesses, and farms now regularly face these invasions, typically in autumn, so much so they can affect the quality of life.

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Differences Between Asian Lady Beetles and Ladybugs

It’s difficult to distinguish the American ladybug from the Asian lady beetle. Both look alike, are members of the Coccinellidae family, and exhibit similar behaviors. The Asian Lady Beetle has a very distinctive white “W” shape on the back of its head and they can vary in color. They are usually orange, yellowish tan, or red with black spots. The American ladybug does not have this “W” shape; instead, their heads are shiny and black with two tiny white circles on top, and their domes are scarlet red with black spots. They both seek shelter to hibernate during the winter months preferring dry, dark crevices, and they only become active again when the temperature rises above 50°F. Asian Lady beetles have great eyesight and an acquired sense of location. They will return to a favorite sunning spot if removed, preferring sunny areas, typically on the sides of buildings facing south or west or on light-colored land surfaces.

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Troubling Asian Lady Beetles and Ladybugs

The breeding season for these pests is during spring and early fall. A single female can lay nearly 4,000 eggs per season in segments of 20 to 30 daily. As the weather turns colder, ladybugs and Asian lady beetles can become a nuisance if they start to swarm your house looking for warm, dry shelter. These swarms can invade your home by crawling through small cracks and openings, leading to an infestation. Though these infestations are usually harmless, you still probably want to remove them.

Asian lady beetles can be somewhat aggressive and they may bite if provoked or moved. These bites are not harmful, more akin to a pinch, but in some cases, the puncture of an Asian lady beetle can cause an allergic reaction leading to Rhinoconjunctivitis, commonly known as “pink-eye.” These pests may also stain your curtains or other fabrics from their secretions, known as hemolymph, that they use as a defensive odor when under attack. This chemical is highly concentrated and has an unpleasant odor detectable even by humans. Hemolymph is corrosive and can cause chemical burns to the inside of dogs’ mouths and gastrointestinal tracts when eaten. Typically, dogs will stop swallowing them after tasting only a few as they are heavily pungent. There have been cases in which Asian lady beetles have attached themselves to the roof of a dogs’ mouth causing infection and severe illness if left untreated.

Ladybugs and the Asian lady beetle are sometimes sought-after for their roles as natural pest control agents. However, the latter has a hearty appetite and will eat other non-pests like monarch butterfly eggs and larvae. Both ladybugs and Asian lady beetles are becoming problematic for vineyards as they accidentally get harvested along with the grapes, which affects the wine’s taste. Asian lady beetles are aggressive and compete for resources with ladybugs; thus, they are considered an invasive species. They are the cause of the decline of native ladybug populations in Colorado and the United States.

Removing Asian Lady Beetles and Ladybugs

Help prevent infestations of your home or business by walking the outdoor perimeter and ensure that all cracks are adequately sealed and caulked. Place sticky traps or vacuum regularly to remove small invasions; however, try not to squash them as they will release a foul odor and secrete a yellow substance that might stain your fabrics. For out-of-control swarms or large infestations that threaten your crops or place your pets at risk, call Creature Control today. Our experienced pest control techs will assess your bug problem and offer safe and environmentally friendly management solutions.

What's
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What do these animals sound like?
What's That Noise? What's that noise?
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Scratching during the day may indicate the presence of a bat, but this is uncommon.

More common sources of scratching or clawing during the day is a squirrel or a yellowjacket hive in the drywall, if it is summer.

A scratching sound coming from the attic is a good indication of the presence of a bat. The scratching may be constant or intermittent and may occur at day or night, though with a bat, this scratching will usually be heard at night. This is the sounds of the claws on the bat's wings as it moves around.

It may also indicate the presence of mice, however. An inspection is necessary to more directly pinpoint the source of the sound.

Gnawing sounds during the day are almost always due to the presence of a rodent, such a mouse, squirrel, chipmunk, or sometimes a rat. Rodents are characterized by their large incisor teeth, which continually grow and must be worn down by constant gnawing. Rodents will gnaw on wires, insulation and anything else they can find in an attic. Many house fires due to electrical problems are caused by damaged wires due to squirrel gnawing.

If you are hearing gnawing or chewing sounds at night, it may indicate the presence of a raccoon. Usually this will be accompanied by other noises, such as heavy walking. If you do not hear this, it may be a flying squirrel or some other rodent.

A "rolling" sound is usually due to the presence of a red squirrel bringing in nuts or other debris and rolling it around up in the attic, as squirrels will use attics to hoard food. If you hear this sound during the day, it is certainly a red squirrel, since red squirrels are the only mammals that commonly get into attics that are active during the day (flying squirrels get into attics as well but they are nocturnal). The "rolling" sound associated with a squirrel is sometimes described as the sound of marbles rolling.

If it is not a squirrel, there's a possibility a rolling sound could be made by birds moving around in a tight space.

Rolling sounds at night can be caused by flying squirrels, which are nocturnal. It is made by the squirrel bringing nuts or other debris into the attic or wall.

Raccoons may also make a rolling sound, though this is less common.

Scampering or scurrying during the day is almost always attributable to a squirrel, as most other scurrying animals (such as mice) are nocturnal.

A scurrying or scampering sound at night is usually due to mice moving through the walls, ceiling, or along the floor.

Nocturnal flying squirrels may make this noise as well; peak periods of activity for flying squirrels are just before dawn and shortly after sunset. Their scurrying is light and fast.

Raccoons may also make this sort of noise, but with a raccoon it will be more of a "walking" sound, a bit heavier than a squirrel, and not as fast.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

Heavy walking or crawling is a very unique sound that almost always indicates the presence of a raccoon, whether it occurs during the day or night.

If you can clearly hear the sound of flapping during the day, it is definitely a bird.

If you hear flapping at night, it is either a trapped bird or a bat. Nuisance birds are generally not active at night, so if you hear flapping it may be a bird that has become trapped. The flapping of a bat's wings is very soft, almost like a dull whirring. If you hear a very faint, soft whirring, it may mean a bat is flying around nearby in the dark.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall. It is not as common at night, but certainly can happen then as well if the hive is big enough.

Crackling is a very particular noise that is generally made by the presence of a yellowjacket hive within the drywall of your home. yellowjackets will pick and gnaw on drywall and use the pieces to construct their hives. The sound of this gnawing is often described as a crackling; it sounds a lot like Rice Krispies popping. If you hear this, it means the yellowjackets are close to gnawing through the dry wall.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.

A sound of chirping or chattering usually means there are baby animals present. What species depends on the season, but it is very common for baby squirrels, raccoons, or birds (especially chimney swifts) to make these noises. Please contact Creature Control for a more thorough diagnosis.

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