The population of Asian Lady Beetles is on the rise in Louisiana, causing residents to get seriously annoyed and even concerned about this prevalent pest. No, it is not the ladybugs you are familiar with infesting people’s homes, but simply annoying lookalikes. They may look like the friendly ladybugs children love to play with, but they are nothing more than a poor excuse for an imposter. These are not the ladybugs we all know and love, but rather a non-native beetle that has seen a significant and steady population explosion since they arrived on our soil.
These Asian Lady Beetles actually first showed up in the country in Louisiana in the 1980s. They were accidentally introduced into the state and established themselves in the Louisiana ecosystem pretty quickly. They weren’t considered a pest at first, but after their population exploded across the land, spreading throughout North America and all the way into Canada, they changed from a beneficial insect to a pest. Like ladybugs, they are beneficial because they eat the bugs that kill plants and crops. Unfortunately, their population is growing so large that they are now forcing out the native ladybugs and displacing them. Less cute ladybugs plus more Asian Lady Beetles equals a negative shift in the balance of beneficial and pest insects. What’s more, they are clearly bullies, running off those sweet ladybugs.
The Asian Lady Beetle seems to prefer finding a nice place to call home in people’s houses, unlike ladybugs, which, as you can imagine, does not go over well with residents. As winter approaches these bugs will gather together in groups of hundreds, after which they will all find a place to hibernate during the cold winter. As I mentioned, one of their favorite places to go for winter is into people’s homes. Now, while they are considered “predator beetles”, they are actually pretty harmless. These beetles are not docile like their relative the ladybug, however, and they can be aggressive and bite a human. But worry not, as they won’t even break the skin or inject any kind of toxic. They aren’t actually biting you to try and eat you or suck your blood like a mosquito, but are rather “probing”, checking you out to see if you are food or not. This is similar to what young sharks will do when they bite a human; they’re just checking out what the thing they see is and if it is food or not. Thankfully, while having an Asian Lady Beetle nibble can be rather annoying, it won’t result in you losing your arm or leg. They also don’t transmit any diseases, so they are not really a public health concern. They do, however, release an unpleasant odor when they feel threatened or if you smash them. For this reason, it is a good idea to vacuum up any you catch if you don’t want that nasty smell permeating your home. Other than that, your only option to get them out of your home is to call in a professional pest control service to handle them.
Have you ever spotted Asian Lady Beetles in your house? How did you get rid of them?
Tags: pest control