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.
Do Asian Lady Beetles Look Like Ladybugs?
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 5/16ʺ-11/16ʺ.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Asian Lady Beetles & Ladybugs?
While these bugs resemble one another, if you look closely you can spot the differences.
- Color: 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’re called multi-colored Asian lady beetles.
- Size: Ladybugs are usually smaller and rounder than Asian lady beetles.
- Markings: The easiest way to identify Asian Lady Beetles is the M-shaped marking found on its head where the wings and head meet. The marking may vary in size. Asian lady beetles also have larger white patches on their face.
Are Ladybugs Beneficial Insects?
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.
Are Asian Lady Beetles Beneficial Insects?
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 fall, they begin traveling inside to overwinter.
Are Asian Lady Beetles Dangerous?
The main concern with Asian lady beetles is the size of an infestation. These pests release pheromones that attract other lady beetles. Hundreds of these bugs can invade your home at one time. These pests can also bite. They secrete a yellow fluid when crushed or disturbed. This fluid has an unpleasant odor and it can stain furniture and fabric.
How to Get Rid of Asian Lady Beetles
Treating the exterior and interior of your home can help prevent these pests. Check out a few tips to prevent and eliminate an Asian lady beetle infestation.
- Seal Entry Points: Check for cracks and gaps, 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.
- Spray Them Away with Water: If you notice these pests gathering on the side of your home, you can use soapy water to remove them.
- Treat Your Yard: Spraying your yard with a plant-based insecticide spray, like our Yard Bug Spray, can help to prevent and eliminate an infestation. It kills on contact and provides residual repellency.
- Don’t Crush Bugs: If Asian lady beetles have made their way inside, you don’t want to smash them. This will release an unpleasant odor.
- Vacuum: Asian lady beetles can be removed through vacuuming. Remember to empty the contents outside away from your house.
- Treat Your Home: Our plant-based Home Bug Spray can also help to get rid of Asian lady beetles. Not only does it kill these pests on contact, it also has repellent properties.
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.