Published on February 1st, 2013 | by Henri


Ladybugs are beneficial

Q.    I think I read in your column in your column about how to control ladybugs. I can’t find it now, so could you repeat the information? Every time the weather changes, we have a problem with this bug.

A.    Ladybugs are very beneficial. I know they can be an annoyance but they are worth preserving. Several years ago, an advisor in the Master Gardener program of my state suggested a better solution than extermination: If ladybugs appear in your house as winter approaches, gently pick them up and put them in a glass jar with holes punched in the top and place them in a very cold room — an unheated mud room, for instance, or your refrigerator — to hibernate. Release them outdoors in early March in moderate climate areas, or late March in colder climates.

Another choice is to take them, or sell them, to a garden supply store or garden center which in turn will resell them to gardeners.

If the bugs appear inside your house at other times of the year, gently catch them and release them outdoors. If they are numerous and you do not have the heart or patience to do as I suggested above, use a vacuum cleaner to dispose of them but remember that you are killing a most beneficial predator.

Ladybug control consists of caulking all cracks and crevices around windows, doors and any other place where you can see spaces through which they can enter your house. For instance, if your house has beams or joists that jut out through the walls, caulk around them; this is a place where bugs can get in.

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