What Are Asian Lady Beetles, and Are They Actually Considered “Pests?”

There were swarms of them. Little black, orange and red spots creating a moving blanket in the light of the setting sun over the west side of the house. There appeared to be more beetles than there was house! “I’ve never seen anything like it,” said the homeowner unable to look away from the sight. And we had to tell him that, in all our years of pest control in Bartlesville, OK, neither had we!

Although the example above is one of our more severe cases of an Asian lady beetle infestation, it certainly wasn’t the first. These ladybug-looking creatures have made pests of themselves all over Oklahoma and across other parts of the U.S. as well. Unlike the actual ladybug, which is a beneficial creature, the Asian lady beetle is a pest and an invasive species.

How did they get here?

Unlike most invasive species that are introduced to a new environment by mistake, the Asian lady beetles were brought to the U.S. on purpose. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) thought that, like the traditional ladybug, Asian lady beetles would help control agricultural pests. So, in the early 1900s, the USDA introduced the Asian beetles to 10 of the 50 states. However, it didn’t take long for scientists to see their mistake. The Asian lady beetle was nothing like our friendly little ladybug.

How pesky are they really?

Since their original introduction nearly 100 years ago, Asian lady beetles have made themselves right at home in the U.S. Not only has the population of Asian lady beetles grown out of proportion and spread across the country, but the negatives of this cousin to the ladybug have become painfully evident:

  • They get into your home: Asian lady beetles are known for finding their way into people’s homes during the winter, seeking warmth. They collect around doors and windows, and fly around your home.
  • They stink: Asian lady beetles secrete a yellowish, smelly, sticky fluid when disturbed or crushed. Not only does this fluid smell terrible, but it can also stain carpet, clothing and even furniture.
  • They bite: Yes, that’s right. Unlike our friendly little ladybug, Asian lady beetles bite, and it hurts.
  • They can cause health problems: Some people have an allergic reaction to the Asian lady beetle’s bite or the yellow fluid it secretes. Reactions can include eye problems, such as conjunctivitis (aka pink eye), hay fever, cough, hives or even asthma and difficulty breathing.

What can you do?

If you’re experiencing an infestation of Asian lady beetles in your home, it’s best to look for professional pest control in Bartlesville, OK to help. Attempting to deal with the problem yourself is almost always unsuccessful and you may end up with the added problem of bites and the nasty effects of the yellow, stinky fluid the bugs secrete. At Excellence Pest Control, we have experience dealing with these pesky infiltrators and can help rid your home of the infestation with minimal disturbance to your home or your family.