What is bad about ladybugs?
Ladybugs are known to be a farmer’s best friend because they feed on pests that are present on the plants. However, there are some instances where they do more damage than help. This article will talk about the harm that they can do to your home and your plants, as well as how you can get rid of them.
What Can Ladybugs Damage?
Ladybugs can damage your home because they burrow themselves in the wood parts of your home. Some ladybug species feed on plants instead of insects.
How Ladybugs Damage Your Plants
Almost all of the species of ladybugs are helpful with plants since they usually eat aphids, mealybugs, and mites. They are generally known to be a benefit rather than a nuisance to plants.
However, two species will feed on your plants. The Epilachninae Ladybugs is known as the vegetarian. The other species is the Harmonia axyridis, also known as the Asian Lady Beetle.
- These ladybugs look like any other ladybug species. However, the number one difference is that they feed on crops. They are also a bit larger than the typical species that you may know. Want to learn more about ladybug species like the Asian Lady Beetle? Check out Do Ladybug Spots Tell Their Age? for more info.
- They feed on mildew, fungi, and leaves. As a group, these ladybugs can create significant damage to your plants. Some of the plants that they feed on are maize, spinach, cotton, and legumes such as beans, including soya.
Are ladybugs really harmful to plants?
Now, these little critters scrape their faces on a leaf. This action opens up the large vein of the leaf where the epidermis of the leaf is exposed. This epidermis is what the ladybugs eat therefore leaving the leaf damaged. As a rule, the adult ladybugs feed on the top leaf while the larvae feed on the lower surface.
While they are feeding on the veins of the leaves, they leave certain marks on the leaves. For example, those ladybugs which eat maize will most likely go the leaf looking like a skeleton. This can lead to plants dying.
Another factor on how these species damages your plants is their eggs. The female ladybug would place the eggs on the surface of a plant leaf. These are the yellow eggs that you may sometimes see on top of your plant’s leaf.
The female ladybugs usually place them on the leaf so that once they become larvae, food is already accessible for them. Now, the female ladybugs usually lay hundreds of eggs. They typically place a dozen of eggs in each plant leaf.
Given the number of eggs that would turn into larvae, they are more likely to finish off the leaves of the plants.
How Ladybugs Damage Your Home
Ladybugs are known to prey on insects that live on plants. However, they can also damage your home. They are known to hibernate during the cold weather, and in doing so, they seek shelter inside your home and can cause to certain damages such as,
- Leave dirty stains
They have a defense mechanism where they release a foul smell so that they can warn their enemies. Aside from that, they will leave yellow stains around your house before they die. The brighter they are, the more toxic they will be.
- May bite human
The Asian Lady Beetle is your number one enemy. Aside from ruining your plants, they can also be a massive problem in your home. Apart from infesting your home, these ladybugs have the ability to bite humans.
- Spread infection
They usually burrow themselves into your home. These little critters typically hang out in your attics, wall voids, and other protected areas in your home. Aside from staying in some places in your home, they also infest wood.
- Eat fabric and food
Ladybugs can also destroy fabrics and even eat any food that you may have at home. With them burrowing in the wood part of your home, it can weaken its foundation. When wood has an opening, moisture can get inside.
- Is your home in danger
Having said this, the structure of your home will be in danger. The Asian Lady Beetle has the ability to bite and can be a danger to those who are allergic to them. Once they bite you, there’s a huge chance that a person can go into anaphylaxis shock.
Getting Rid of Ladybugs in Your Home
Ladybugs can really be a nuisance once they enter your home. There are a couple of things that you can do in order to fix the infestations that you may have.
Home remedies are your first aid kit when it comes to ladybugs infestations in your home.
If there are just a few ladybugs in your home, this is the best solution. There is nothing you need more drastic than a vacuum cleaner for the annoying ladybugs that might have entered your home.
You can vacuum the area where you spot the ladybugs. Once you have done that, discard the contents of your vacuum into a sealed plastic bag. Make sure to place the plastic bag in the garbage can so that they can’t find their way back into your home.
Now, this may not work in some places in your home. These places are the ones that are hard to reach by the vacuum.
Spray the vinegar where you spot the ladybugs entering your home. The smell of the vinegar will remove the trail that they leave behind, preventing others from following. Simply pour vinegar into an empty spray bottle.
Once you have done that, look around your home and spray the places where you see ladybugs moving. The white vinegar kills the ladybugs once it gets in contact with it. It also removes the pheromones that they release.
Dish Soap and Water
This technique works in almost all of the insects that may enter your home. Simply place a drop of soap in a small bowl with water. Place the bowl in a light area like a window or under a bright light.
Ladybugs are attracted to light, given that they would land on the dish soap and water solution. Now, the dish soap removes the tension that is present in the water. This means that the ladybugs have less chance of escaping.
Now, if you notice ladybugs are in the dark areas of your home, such as attics. Having said this, a light trap is your best bet at this point. You can purchase an insect light trap from a gardening center. Simply place the insect light trap in the place that you are targeting.
When there are a lot of ladybugs stuck on the trap, take the device, and release them outside. Since ladybugs are attracted to light, they will fly towards it and will fall in a small container. This will allow you to release them in the wild.
This device is excellent if you want to remove ladybugs in your home without harming them.
Candles and Citrus Oils
Ladybugs hate the smell of citrus and citronella. You can place the candles in places where you think ladybugs can enter your homes, such as windows and near doors. Another technique that you can do is put a drop of citrus oil into a small spray bottle with water.
Spray each entry of your home daily. The best scents that you can use are lemon, lime, orange, and mandarin.
Weather-stripping During Winter
Since ladybugs tend to come inside your home during the winter season, it is best to place weather-stripping along the entrance seals to minimize any openings. You can purchase a roll of weather-stripping and cut the strips to the same size as your windows and doors opening.
This method is also great for keeping water and cold out of your home. Now, if you are still finding ladybugs inside your home with weather-stripping already in place, it is probably time to replace them.
Install Window Screens
Installing window screens will help keep the ladybugs from entering your home. Simply measure the size of your windows and purchase pre-made window screens from your local home improvement store.
You can install each screen on the inside of your home and slide it into place, starting from the top of your window. You have to make sure that you hear a click to ensure that the screen is locked in place.
You can also have a professional install these screens on your home. Hiring professionals may cost a bit more than doing it yourself. However, it will be less of a hassle for you than putting the screens yourself.
For more info on more home remedies to get rid of bugs, you may want to read Using Borax Powder To Kill Ants – A Complete Guide.
Diatomaceous earth is a very effective way to kill the ladybugs before they enter your garden. Make sure that you wear goggles and mask when applying the diatomaceous earth. The mask will prevent the powder from being inhaled.
Spread it generously around each of your garden beds. You can also sprinkle it on the outside of your home to prevent them from entering. Now, this is safe for your pets and children. However, it will kill other beneficial insects such as honeybees.
Using insecticides are the best if it’s too difficult to manage the infestation. This is also a great solution if the infestation in your garden is unmanageable. You can find some outdoor insecticides at your local gardening center.
You can follow the instructions on how you can apply it. It is always a good thing to check the label first before you begin so that you can ensure it is safe around your children and pets.
These are often sold in sprays, dust, and powders, so be sure to use goggles, gloves, and masks for safety measures.
This is the best solution for ladybugs that may enter your home and is too unmanageable for your home remedies. You can purchase aerosol at your grocery or the nearest home improvement store. Once the ladybugs create contact with the aerosol, it will kill them automatically.
You have to check if the aerosol that you are going to buy is designed for an indoor environment. Once all of the ladybugs are dead, vacuum them to keep your home clean.
If none of these remedies work, it is best to call the professionals to get the job done for you.
Ladybugs are known to be the best friend of gardeners and farmers because they are eating thousands of insects that can ruin your plants. However, they can be a nuisance because they take shelter in your home during the winter season. They can leave an awful smell and a yellow stain in the places where they burrow before they die. Some species can ruin your plants, and they are known to vegetarians. Knowing how to prevent them from creating more problems in your garden and your home is essential. A couple of home remedies will sometimes do the trick, and if that does not help, then using chemicals are the best option for you. If all else fails, contact the nearest pest control in your area.
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