Most people view lady bugs as a benign garden presence. They are pretty, harmless to humans and pets, and they eat many garden pests. Unfortunately, the insect that is so lovely outside is a horrible pest if it makes its way indoors in great numbers. The problem is when a specific type of lady bug, the Asian lady beetle, tries to overwinter en masse inside your home. They can clog ventilation systems, and their waste can leave stains on paint and upholstery. The following tips can help you avoid such as infestation:
Tip #1: Shade your house
Lady beetles make their way to a home for winter protection once temperatures begin to drop in the autumn. They first seek warmth by alighting on warm, sunny surfaces. This means that portions of your home that receive a lot of sun, such as the south side of the house, are most at risk of providing access to the ladybugs. You can prevent this by shading your home. Planting trees along the south side mean the ladybugs will alight on the trees on a sunny fall day. As an added benefit, shade trees will keep your home cooler in summer.
Tip #2: Seal your home
Lady beetles on the outside of the home isn't a major problem. The issue is when they make their way indoors. You can further minimize this risk by making sure your home has a tight seal. Use caulk to seal up any spaces around window frames, external pipes and cables, and around doorways. Also, ensure your window screens fit tightly and that they have no holes. Replacing weather stripping around doors and windows will also help seal up access points. Finally, check your roof eaves and make sure all vents are fitted with mesh screens to keep out bugs.
Tip #3: Monitor issues
You likely won't know if you have a lady beetle problem until spring when the awakening insects begin emerging inside your home. Pay attention where most of the beetles are coming from if this occurs. The location of emergence can sometimes give a clue as to how they got in last fall. For example, if they seem to be emerging from underneath the bathroom sink, then the vent pipe for the bathroom may need to be recaulked on the outside. Also, don't try to sweep up the beetles since this can result in a mess. Instead, vacuum them up with a hose attachment. You can open the bag and release them outside later if you like.
For more help or to eradicate a major lady beetle infestation, contact a pest control company like Godfather's Exterminating, Inc.