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March 18, 2017
For the third year in a row (we've lived here for 30 years) as soon as it warms up
a little we have a screened in porch full (100's) of bugs. I thought they were lady
bugs and so I would vacuum them up and put them outside. A friend said they were beetles
and not lady bugs. They look like lady bugs to me, what are they? They get in the
It sounds to me like the Asian ladybug which is a beetle as are all ladybugs. The
Asian ladybug adult is slightly larger than our native ladybug and can occur in several
color patterns varying from solid orange, orange with black spots to red with black
spots. It is a beneficial insect and feeds on pests such as aphids, mites, thrips,
and scale. Unfortunately in the fall, they gather in large numbers on the outside
of light-colored houses and can find their way inside through cracks or holes. They
have also been known to get inside mailboxes, barns and garages looking for a place
to spend the winter. They hibernate through the winter and become active again in
spring. Vacuuming them up and putting them outside is a good idea. Do be aware that
they emit a foul smelling yellow staining substance when disturbed which can stain
whatever they are on indoors. Try to seal any cracks or openings to block them coming
in next fall.
I have successfully stopped my slug problem on my beautiful hosta garden!! A heavy
load of sweet gum balls as mulch. But now I have these uninvited guests consuming
the leaves. Can they be sprayed or dusted now?
From the photo it appears they are lady bugs and lady bug larvae--that is the small
alligator looking creature in the picture you sent. They should not be cutting holes
in the leaves, but feeding on aphids that may be present. Lady bugs are beneficial
insects in all stages, and don't harm plants. Look closely to make sure you have no
slugs hiding or possibly caterpillars feeding. There are numerous insects that can
feed on hostas, but the lady bugs aren’t the culprit.
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