Biting Asian Lady Beetles Invade Homes in Large Numbers Where They Remain All Winter, but How Did the Invasive Insects Arrive in THE US?

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Israel Alvarez

Owner @ Insight Pest Management

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beetle infestationMany people are charmed by the presence of a ladybug, as the beetle has long been regarded as a sign of good luck for literally centuries. Considering that the world is home to at least 5,000 ladybug species that have been documented so far, it is hard to believe that every species is friendly toward humans. Numerous ladybug species have also been documented within the United States, several of which are not native to the country, such as the seven-spotted ladybug and the notorious multicolored Asian lady beetle. While the seven-spotted ladybug is harmless and not considered a pest, this is not the case for the Asian lady beetle. In fact, this particular species inflicts bites to humans, emits an unpleasant defensive odor, and worst of all, they have been infesting homes in southern California at progressively greater rates for the past several years. Asian ladybugs may look just like the ladybugs that residents of California are used to, but this non-native species is quickly becoming a nuisance to homeowners in the state. Experts say that Asian ladybugs will not hesitate to bite humans if the insects become disturbed, but luckily, these bites are not harmful or especially painful. That being said, it should be known that these insects also emit a yellow-colored fluid that not only smells foul, but can also trigger an allergic reaction in certain individuals, but such incidents are rare. The worst aspect of Asian lady beetle infestations is their habit of invading homes in enormous numbers where the insects find their way into hard-to-access areas like wall-voids. The bugs do this in an effort to secure a warm environment to overwinter. Once spring arrives, these insects will emerge from their hiding places, becoming a nuisance to homeowners yet again. Nuisance Asian lady beetle infestations are also becoming more common during the summer months in southern California. These lady beetles can be recognized by their relatively large size, as well as the “M” design located on their head, which cannot be found on common ladybugs. Have you caught a whiff of Asian lady beetle secretions?    

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