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What’s the Difference Between Ladybugs and Asian Lady Beetles?

If you’ve seen a red and black spotted bug, chances are you thought it was a ladybug. However, it’s possible an Asian lady beetle tricked you. They look alike and they are related, but they are different beetles with different agendas. We’ve gathered information about ladybugs and Asian lady beetles to help you spot the difference between them.  

Appearance

Asian lady beetle on leaf

Asian lady beetles are a type of ladybug and all ladybugs are beetles. These beetles share many physical features, which can make it difficult to tell them apart. Native ladybugs and Asian lady beetles have six legs, antennae, and wings that allow them to fly. They grow between .3-.7 inches. While they resemble one another, if you look closely you can spot the differences. The most common native ladybugs are red with black spots. Asian lady beetles can range in color from tan, orange, yellow, and red. This is why they are called multi-colored Asian lady beetles. Ladybugs are usually smaller and rounder than Asian lady beetles. The easiest way to identify these beetles is the M-shaped marking found on Asian lady beetles. The marking may vary in size, but it will always be found on this beetle. It’s located on the beetle’s head where the wings and head meet. Asian lady beetles also have larger white patches on their face.

Habits

Asian lady beetle on a finger

Though these beetles look alike, their habits are quite different. Native ladybugs are beneficial insects. They consume garden pests, like aphids, which helps to keep your garden healthy. Ladybugs don’t bite and aren’t harmful to humans. When temperatures begin to drop, they look for sheltered locations outside, including rocks and leaves, to overwinter. Native ladybugs don’t usually gather in the same location. While native ladybugs are beneficial insects, Asian lady beetles are pests. Though they help keep your plants pest-free, they will consume native ladybugs too. Their pest status is a result of their habit of invading homes in the fall. When summer ends, these beetles gather on the exterior of homes. During the fall, they begin travelling inside to overwinter. This can lead to many Asian lady beetles hiding in your home. Asian lady beetles can bite and they secrete a yellow fluid, which has an unpleasant odor, when crushed or disturbed.

Why Does It Matter?

Lady beetles

It may not seem important to be able to tell the difference between these beetles, but treatment measures will vary. Native ladybugs are great to have around your garden. There’s no need to remove them from your yard and these beneficial insects help to maintain the health of the environment. However, you don’t want Asian lady beetles sneaking into your home. When these beetles find a suitable location to overwinter, they release pheromones that attract other lady beetles. This could lead to hundreds of Asian lady beetles invading your home. Not only can they bite, the liquid they secrete can stain furniture and fabric. If you notice Asian lady beetles in your yard, you can take action to prevent them from entering your home. This is why it’s important to know the differences between good and bad lady beetles.

Treatment

Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Yard Bug SprayMaggie’s Farm Simply Effective Home Bug Spray

Treating the exterior and interior of your home can help prevent an Asian lady beetle infestation. One of the best things you can do to avoid a pest infestation is to take preventative action. Check for cracks and crevices, especially near common entry points like windows and doors. Asian lady beetles are small and can slip inside tiny spaces, so you’ll want to seal these holes. If you notice them gathering on the side of your home, you can use soapy water to remove them. Treating your yard with a pesticide that kills on contact and provides residual repellency, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Yard Bug Spray, can help eliminate an infestation. If Asian lady beetles have made their way inside, you don’t want to smash them. This will release the unpleasant odor. Asian lady beetles can be removed through vacuuming. Remember to empty the contents outside, away from your house. You can also treat your home with a spray, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Home Bug Spray, to help eliminate an infestation.

While ladybugs are a great addition to your garden, Asian lady beetles are a different story. If you spot a red and black beetle, you’ll want to make sure it’s not an Asian lady beetle. If bugs are giving you a fit, we want to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.


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