What is your advice on ridding my house of ladybugs? I want something safe for kids and something that my daughter won’t notice…she loves them! – Sarah
Why are ladybugs getting into my home?
Insects, like cluster flies, box elder bugs, stink bugs and the loveable lady bug or Asian Lady Beetle, have this annoying habit of moving into our eaves, window frames, behind siding, etc. to find shelter from the the approaching winter. This starts to happen about the time when school starts up again in September each year.
All too often, many of these insects become lost and accidentally find their way into your home. As long as these “over-wintering” insects aren’t found in huge quantities you should not worry about them. However, if you have a large buildup of these insects (like those in the above picture) you could face several problems including secondary infestations from Dermestid Beetles, or even food resources being provided for rodents.
So what can be done?
The first step we recommend is exclusion. The following exclusion measures should be done in June or July – before over-wintering insects begin to find suitable locations.
- Screen off soffit vents to prevent access of over-wintering insects
- Seal cracks and crevices around window and door frames
- Ensure that all window screens are tight fitting and in good repair
- Screen off window weep holes
- Fix loose fitting siding wherever possible
Because total exclusion is often impractical, an exterior preventive application of a highly repellent residual pyrethroid can be extremely effective. This application should be provided between August 15th and September 15th. This treatment is highly effective at discouraging over-wintering insects from choosing your home in the first place. When choosing a service provider for this type of application be sure to confirm that they are using appropriate application techniques like low pressure application equipment (60 PSI or less) for all of their work. This will ensure that there will be little if any over-spray or drift that might endanger kids, pets or the environment – plus it’s the law!