In the fall, people start seeing these little “ladybugs” near their home. Sometimes they are near a door or window, or some people report these insects in their homes. Are they ladybugs or something else?
Ladybugs are thought of as cute, and sweet. There is ladybug clothing and Halloween costumes for little girls. Some people even believe that ladybugs are good luck. There is an insect that looks very similar and is often mistaken for a lady bug and it is known by a few names…the lady beetle, the Asian beetle or the Japanese beetle. There are a few differences in these two “cute” insects, but one big difference… Asian beetles bite. Asian beetles are the ones you usually start to find in your home during the autumn and winter months, and they can cause some problems.
Let’s review the differences of these two cute insects.
|Bright orange or bright red with black spots||Red-mustard yellow-more black spots or no spots|
|Back head||Black marking on white head in M or W shape|
|Life cycle 1-2 months, more eggs per lay||Life cycle 3-4 weeks, less eggs per lay|
|Can flourish in more variant conditions||Needs proper rain, food and temperature to mature|
|Found in cities, suburbs, near water, in grassy areas and forests||Found in trees, ornamental and agricultural plants|
|odorless||When threatened will release odor that can stain walls and fabrics|
|Harmless||Bites humans and animals|
|More natural enemies||Less natural enemies|
|Smaller in size||Larger in size|
|Native to US and many other countries||Native in only Asia-brought to US by Dept of Agr.|
|Harmless to most plants||Can contaminate some crops like grapes for wine|
Other Distinct Differences Between the Bugs
Ladybug bodies are oval, dome-shaped with six short legs. The legs cannot be seen because they are hidden under their shells. Although small, they can eat up to 5,000 insects in a lifetime. Ladybugs are liked by many people because of their association with childhood memories and their harmless nature…unlike the Asian beetle.
The Asian beetle is similar in appearance, but not quite as welcomed as the ladybug. The Asian beetle was brought to the US by the Department of Agriculture to eat aphids and other plant pestering insects. Like the ladybug, the beetle is most active during the warm months then looks for shelter as the temperatures cool. In the autumn the pests begin looking for safe spaces to spend the winter. This can lead into home infestations. Liking sunny, exterior walls and color contrasts, they are often found where a light window trim meets a darker house color.
If the beetles get inside of a home, they often choose a warm, humid bathroom, especially if there is a widow with warmth from the sun. Inside of your house is a problem. Asian beetles bite! They can bite a human or pet with enough force to break the skin, although it usually doesn’t hurt much. Some humans are allergic to this fluid. Dogs can suffer more from these pests; the beetles can become lodged in a dog’s mouth causing ulcers and pain. On top of the biting problem, these pests release an unpleasant odorous fluid from their legs when they are threatened. This fluid can stain walls and fabric.
Prevent Asian Beetles and Welcome the Ladybug with Buzz Kill Pest Control
With these Asian Beetle pests, prevention is the key. Seal up any cracks or gaps on the exterior of your home. Make sure seals are good around your doors, windows or pipes. If you do notice that you have these pests indoors, the best thing to do is to vacuum them up. Treatments can applied on the exterior and interior of your house to deal with these and other wintertime pests. Just give Buzzkill a call.