Are Asian Lady Beetles Beneficial?

Unlike the similar looking (and similarly named) lady bug, Asian lady beetles are a nuisance for homeowners. But can they also be beneficial?

Today, we’re talking about when you might actually want this invasive insect around your home. Keep reading to learn more about the Asian lady beetle, and how to take advantage of its beneficial qualities without letting the pest inside your home.

What Are Asian Lady Beetles?

Asian lady beetles come from Asia (China, Russia, Korea, and Japan). The bug was first found in the United States in Louisiana in 1988. Since then, it has spread throughout much of the United States.

The Asian lady beetle looks very similar to the classic lady bug; however, there are a few key differences.

Asian lady beetles are about ⅓ inch long (larger than lady bugs). While local lady bugs are red, the Asian lady beetle comes in a variety of colors—including orange, yellow, red, and even black. This beetle usually has 19 black spots, which can be very faint to very defined. Sometimes, they can have fewer spots (or no spots at all).

To identify an Asian lady beetle, look for a marking behind its head shaped like the letter M.

During the spring and summer, Asian lady beetles stay outdoors, feeding on aphids, other insects, and even fruit. However, as the weather cools, they head indoors in search of a warmer place to overwinter. That’s why homeowners find them such a nuisance: from September through November, swarms of beetles cover walls and ceilings, releasing a foul odor when crushed.

Are Asian Lady Beetles Beneficial?

As we mentioned above, Asian lady beetles become a pest when they swarm indoors. However, they can also be beneficial in other circumstances.

Asian lady beetles mainly eat aphids—small insects that feed on plants (including the stem, leaves, buds, flowers, fruit, and roots). Aphids multiply quickly. In large numbers, aphids can severely damage and even kill plants. For that reason, aphids are the bane of every gardener’s existence.

Getting rid of aphids can be a labor-intensive chore that involves spraying and wiping down plants with soapy water or insecticides. With Asian lady beetles in the garden, however, aphids are more easily controlled!

If you have an aphid problem in your garden, don’t fret at the presence of Asian lady beetles. Instead, let them do their thing and take steps to keep them outside where they belong.

How to Keep Asian Lady Beetles Outdoors

To prevent these beetles from setting up camp in your home, we recommend a few things:

  • Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal up cracks and crevices. Make sure to close up even small cracks—bugs can squeeze through tight spaces!
  • Keeping clutter off of the floor, especially in your basement, garage, and attic.
  • Check for signs of Asian lady beetles regularly.
  • If you see groups of beetles on your floors, walls, or ceilings, don’t crush them—it will smell! Instead, use a vacuum to dispose of them.

These tips should help keep beetles (and other pests!) out of your home.

Need Help with Pest Control?

Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our websiteFacebook, or Twitter.