Ladybugs are types of beetles which belong to the coccinellidae family. The common ladybugs which are often found within our homes usually have red/yellow/orange body color with small black spots. They’re very beneficial especially in our gardens as they feed on aphids as well as other pests which destroy crops. However, when they are within our living territory, they can cause a lot of worry as they have a foul smell which is as a result of the liquid which they secrete which leaves behind yellow stains on clothes and on surfaces. The ultimate guide on Ladybug control provides you with systematic procedures to follow so as to ensure that you get rid of them in your house.
The Life Cycle of ladybugs
Lady bugs undergo complete metamorphosis which involves four stages i.e. egg stage, larvae stage, pupa stage and finally the adult stage. The length of the ladybug life cycle varies depending on the food supply and the temperature condition they’re in during this period, which can last up to 6 months during the cold season and less during the warm season. Once the female eggs has laid the eggs, three weeks later they hatch and they progress from one stage to the next until they become adults.
Click here to learn more; The life cycle of ladybugs.
The ladybug eggs are priceless jewels especially to those who are faced with controlling pest e.g. aphids which attack crops. The eggs are yellow in color when laid and are usually in clusters of about 10 to 50 in number. They’re usually oval-shaped and are small-sized similar to the size of a yellow jellybean, just a bit smaller. When the ladybug lays egg, some are usually infertile while the others are fertile, and the former acts as a source of food for the fertile eggs once the ladybug offspring have hatched, in four to ten days. The products of this precious eggs (ladybug larvae) are very important as they help in controlling plant eating pest by consuming them and they do so immediately they have hatched.
Are Ladybugs Poisonous?
Ladybugs are not poisonous, on the contrary, they are very beneficial insects. This is because they consume plant-eating pests such as aphids hence protecting the crops from being damaged. As far as humans are concerned, the lady beetles are not harmful to them but they’re poisonous to other small animals such as lizards and insects. Their foul odor acts as a protection mechanism from predators which might want to have them as a delicacy meal.
Where Do Ladybugs Live?
The ladybugs commonly known as ladybirds or lady beetles usually live under leaf litters in fields or in a garden where aphids and other sap sucking pests are commonly found. They can also be spotted in rocks or on other debris especially during the cold seasons where they hibernate to. Ladybugs also inhabit homes, especially old houses which appear warm and appealing for them to live in. lady beetles are found everywhere across the world with over 5000 species living in different continents worldwide.
Find out more on; Asian Lady beetle versus ladybugs
Ladybugs will appear during the autumn season after having spent summer outdoors in areas where there was adequate food supply. They do so in order to search for places where they can spend the winter season. Homes and buildings which are usually close to woods or fields face high chances of ladybug infestation as they are quickest to access.
Ladybug In House
When you spot ladybugs in your house, they’re probably using your home as a hibernation place during the cold seasons. Due to the warmth within the house, they will lurk around most of the period especially under the sliding of your home. They’re also attracted to bright buildings and that’s why they may tend to invade your house however, they do not cause any kind of harm to you or your home. They will use cracks and crevices around windows and doors to enter your house and once they find the place warm and comfortable, it will get difficult to get rid of them.
What Do Ladybugs Eat?
Both adult and larval ladybugs are known primarily as predators of aphids but they also prey on many other soft‐bodied insects and insect eggs. Many of these are agricultural pest such as scale insects, mealybugs, spider mites and eggs of the Colorado Potato Beetle and European Corn Borer. A few ladybugs feed on plant and pollen mildews and many ladybugs supplement their meat diet with pollen.
To know the every Characteristics of Ladybug Click here; All About Ladybugs.
How To Get Rid of Ladybugs Naturally
Ladybugs are not harmful or destructive, and if they’re just a few and their presence does not bother you, you can let them be as they will leave when spring time comes. On the other hand, if their sight is unpleasant to you, you can use the following control methods to get rid of the ladybugs and prevent them from invading your home.
- Vacuum/sweep them out
- Using a shop vacuum cleaner, will help you collect the ladybugs from your home, and since most will survive, you can drop them off in your garden if you have one.
- Use the hose attachment instead of the bottom push function on the vacuum cleaner.
- Place a stocking or a plastic bag over the end of the vacuum hose and secure it’s using a rubber band.
- Then switch on the vacuum cleaner and collect the ladybugs from their hiding areas.
- They will get trapped inside the stocking/plastic bag and you can carefully remove it from the hose attachment and release the lady beetles outside.
- Alternatively, sweep them out using a broom and a dustpan and throw them outside.
NB: avoid picking up ladybugs using hands as they will release the foul smelling yellow liquid which can cause stains on surfaces and fabrics.
- Spray camphor/menthol solution
- Mix a liter of camphor in a container and add some water.
- Stir through the solution thoroughly.
- Pour it into a spray bottle and spritz around the infested areas.
- Ladybugs detest the smell of camphor and since the solution is harmless, it will only drive them away without killing them.
- In place of camphor, you can use menthol and follow the same procedure.
- The effect is the same as that of the camphor solution.
How to Kill Ladybugs
- Use food grade diatomaceous earth/borax
- Sprinkle some food grade DE around the areas where the ladybugs lurk, whether inside the house or outside.
- Ensure that you spread the powdered DE properly all around the place.
- This will be efficient as the ladybugs pass through this places, they will pass through the spread powder.
- Diatomaceous earth contains sharp algae fossils which will penetrate into the ladybugs skin cutting through the skeleton, leading to death.
- Alternatively, you can spread some borax powder on the infested areas.
- When the ladybugs pass through it and get into direct contact with borax, they will dehydrate which will lead to their death.
- Soap-water trap
- This is a simple method which is quite effective in killing ladybugs.
- Warm some water and add a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap.
- Place the solution in an airtight container and shake well until it’s soapy.
- Pour the soapy solution in a glass bowl or a fishbowl, bright in color to lure the ladybugs.
- Place the bowl near a lamp or the window
- The light will be reflected by the glass bowl tempting the ladybugs to look inside the bowl, and they’ll fall in.
- This will result to the ladybugs drowning hence causing their death.