By Tiffani Ireland –
Many of you may be experiencing the same problem my family and I am currently enduring; unwanted house guests. No, I do not mean those relatives that came for the holidays and just do not know when to leave. I am, however, talking about equally vexing pests – lady bugs! Or should I say lady beetles, since they are classified as beetles? Yeah, these little bugs look all cute when found solely in the garden, but when hundreds of them show up to spend the winter in your house, trust me, they are not so cute anymore.
According to the Clemson Extension Agency’s website, the most common lady bug found in and around homes is known as the Asian lady beetle. The site says these bugs which vary in color from yellow to red and may or may not have black spots invade homes and other structures looking for shelter in the winter. Now, I would be okay with providing shelter for one or two of these crawly critters, but the trouble is they secrete a chemical that lets all their friends know they have found a warm spot and where to find it. That, in turns, means a flash mob of lady bugs quickly fills your home.
Interestingly, the Clemson site seems to be at odds as to whether or not these creepy crawlies bite. Well, let me just put that one to rest for them; they DO! I should know. One got in my pants, and lets just say, he doesn’t bite anymore.
Clemson recommends caulking and weather stripping as measures to keep lady bugs out of your home. If an invasion does occur, the site said vacuuming ASAP was the best method to deal with the pests. But vacuum quickly, they caution, before the bugs have time to leak there locating juices and invite a hundred or more friends to the party. The site even shared how using a clean bag when vacuuming can allow for you to store the lady bugs until spring so that you can release them in your garden. I could try this , but odds are I would forget where I stored the bag. I would probably locate it in late summer by which time I am sure I would have roasted beetles on my hands. Hey – isn’t that a delicacy in some countries? Anyway, since I have a bag-less vacuum, I’ll be practicing the catch and release method.