Published on April 7th, 2014 | by Henri


An abundance of ladybugs

   I seem to have an over abundance of ladybugs in my house. One bedroom had more than 10 in one evening and they keep coming. How do I get rid of them and keep them from coming back?

A.    Ladybugs are beneficial insects important in the biological control of several serious insect pests, so generally no controls are recommended. I know they can be an annoyance but they are worth preserving.

Several years ago, an adviser in the Master Gardener program of my state suggested that as 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 ladybugs 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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