Commonly called ladybugs, Asian lady beetles are beneficial insects to farmers and gardeners alike. This is because they feed on aphids, which damage crops.
Native to Asia, these insects were released decades ago as a form of natural pest control in the U.S. Today, they are fast becoming a major nuisance in Canada.
Larger than most other lady beetles, these pests can grow up to 8mm long. Other characteristics include:
- Orange, red, or yellow colour.
- Black spots on the body.
- Marking similar to the letter m behind the head.
Asian lady beetle larvae are longer, with flat, black bodies covered in tiny spines.
Asian lady beetles thrive throughout the country, in both rural and urban settings. As they eat pests that damage crops, gardens, farmlands, and ornamental plants are all preferred habitats.
These beetles feed on a variety of soft-bodied crop pests, including aphids.
Lady beetles can live for over a year. During this time, they go through four distinct life stages. They are:
- Egg: Laid in spring, eggs hatch in about three to five days.
- Larvae: Larvae emerge and seek out pest insects to feed on.
- Pupae: There are four molts before lady beetles pupate.
- Adult: Within several days, adults leave the pupal case.
Problems Caused by Asian Lady Beetles
The most pressing issue with Asian lady beetles is their behaviour once the weather begins to cool. These pests seek out warm places in and around the home to overwinter and re-emerge in the spring.
Once inside, the insects don’t breed or transmit disease, and they may bite, though they rarely break the skin. Asian lady beetles also secrete a foul-smelling yellow liquid that can stain surfaces.
Detection/Signs of Infestation
Finding large numbers of these pests grouped together is the most common sign of infestation. Piles of dead Asian lady beetles may also collect in light fixtures and around windows.
These pests can enter houses and other structures through the smallest of openings, which makes keeping them out a difficult task. Winterizing the home, sealing all gaps or cracks, and repairing damaged screens helps to keep Asian lady beetles out of the home.
Since Asian lady beetles are known to gather in overwhelming numbers, getting rid of entire infestations can be costly and time consuming. To thoroughly remove Asian lady beetles from the home, contact the professionals at Orkin.
Get Rid of Asian Lady Beetles