Ladybugs, which belong to the Coccinellidae family of beetles, are considered a beneficial species of insect because they control a number of pests, most notably, aphids. They keep our lawns and gardens healthy. However, these bugs need to hibernate when the temperature falls. Outside, this may be in the cracks between cliffs or rocks. But when they do not find adequate space to hibernate outdoors, they will invade the indoors.
They do nothing; only hibernate. They only seek a suitable place to overwinter. When they find it, they release pheromones which broadcast the finding to other fellow ladybugs. They normally hibernate in a bunch, so do not be surprised to see a group of them huddled in one place. They bunch up anywhere – in attics, in door cracks, near window frames. They do not harm your property. While the bugs are indoors they do not need any food in order to overwinter. They use their own bodies’ fat and/or eat aphids if they find them indoors. They do not eat any other food during this period of hibernation; so do not worry about your books, clothes or food. Nor do they do not carry any type of disease. Ladybugs may voluntarily bleed a little when they feel threatened. Their blood is a sticky yellow fluid that has an offensive smell and can stain.
If they do not do anything harmful, why are people so upset about their coming indoors? They are upset for the plain reason that nobody like to know they co-exist with bugs in their homes. In rare cases, people can have allergies triggered by the fluid secreted when they are scared. Sometimes – though very rare – the ladybugs will bite, though they do not draw blood or break the skin. In most cases, people simply feel unsettled about the number of the ladybugs in their living spaces.
If it is possible, leave them be. They will leave by themselves in the spring. Many die out of dehydration because most homes are warm but not humid enough to support them over winter. If absolutely necessary, try vacuuming them into a clean bag. Once they are in, tie the bag loosely and dampen it a little (at regular intervals) to provide humidity. Release them in the spring.
The best way to deal with ladybugs is to prevent them from getting inside in the first place. For this to happen, you need to insulate your home properly. Have all the possible spaces in between windows, doors and all other such places sealed. Check for places that could provide an entry for these bugs and ensure that you have them repaired or sealed. If you live in a place where ladybugs are common, it may help to have your home insulated professionally. In this way, you ensure that these bugs don’t find their way into your home, but stay outside in the landscape in your backyard. If you are bothered by ladybugs or other pests, call us. We have pest control solutions to help.