ladybugs every where? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

this happens every year about the same time and i can not find out why,our farm gets covered in lady bugs.i am not talking a few hundred but thousands! one minute there are none and the next they are climbing all over you. it is so bad this afternoon i had to come in because they climb in the babies nose and mouth and choke them.i know they are good bugs but it is down right creepy , all "ages" some are "old" looking ,pale colored and some are very bright. i would really like to find out why this happens. they get in the house and i vaccum them up and let them go again. this will last 3 days and then they are gone again. i take pictures every year because no one believes me!

-- renee oneill (, October 12, 2000


Renee, we've had a couple of years like that before. One year I could hardly get the garage and barn painted because there were hundreds of them all over the walls. We had them in the house and they would cluster in balls up in the corners of the ceiling. I thought it was great to have them around (good little insect predators that they are) but I really didn't want them in the house. Haven't had them around like that for 3 years or so. I don't know if there is a cycle, or we just had an odd year. You will probably see their offspring for a couple of years, though. Aren't they considered lucky?

-- sheepish (, October 12, 2000.

Last year was an abundant ladybug year up here in central Maine. This year they aren't as bad, but they did show up suddenly a couple days ago. Those little buggers bite hard, too! I didn't believe it when someone told me they bite, until last year when I did got bit. Sorry I can't help with the 'why'.

-- Epona (, October 12, 2000.

well i learned something new again today..looked up ladybugs in yahoo and found out that adults will hibernate in large numbers and it is called an aggregation,in the spring will come out and fly away. pretty cool.

-- renee oneill (, October 12, 2000.

We have them starting to crawl up our windows, too. One of the signs of fall, I guess. I remember raking leaves in the early spring and uncovering masses of ladybugs when I was a kid (always amazed me, all those squirmy bright orange bugs in one place), but those were the native insects, which politely spent the winter outdoors in sheltered spots. The ladybugs that we are seeing inside these days are Asian Ladybugs, imported from there to meet the needs of folks who wanted an organic method to control garden pests. They come in all shades of orange and have differnet sorts of spots, but they all think they need to be somewhere warmer than the great outdoors when it gets into the houses they come. They stink when they get squished and crawl around in the bed and BITE. But I refuse to use poison on them, figuring they'll come in handy this summer in my garden. Hubby WILL half fill a large plastic cup with water and a drop or two of dish soap, and run it along the ceiling before bed, brushing the critters into the water, and letting us get a good night's rest. He flushes the results, which he calls "bug juice." Problem is, he keeps a similar cup of water at the bedside for middle of the night thirsties---so we have to be careful not to get the two cups mixed up in the dark....!!!!!!

-- Leann Banta (, October 12, 2000.

Did you know that one of the purposes of the canopy on a four-poster bed was to keep bugs from dropping from the ceiling onto the occupants of the bed? :-D

-- Joy Froelich (, October 12, 2000.

Joy, didn't know that! But I seem to attract spiders who like to drop down on my face! Yuck. I am also allergic to spider bites. They usually are kind enough to just move on, but you never know! Good idea to get a canopy bed!

-- sheepish (, October 12, 2000.

We've got them in northern Wisconsin too -- I've been putting out ladybug boxes for them, but as yet they don't seem to have found them, or it's still too warm (after 7" of snow and 20-degree weather, it's now in the upper 60's again) for them to snug down tight. I've been thinking of sweeping clumps up into boxes and storing them in the barn for the winter. Ours aren't biting, but they ARE everywhere...I've heard from friends all across the state about the swarms.

I also hear that they are not native ladybugs, but something like an Asian relative, but they serve the same function, pest control.

-- Julie Froelich (, October 13, 2000.

So, as ladybugs are considered lucky, if I vacume or sweep out the critters from inside, does that mean the roof will fall in ;~) Doubt it, but thanks for all the neat insights into ladybug winter habits. I just thought I was loosing it wjen I'd see bunches of them inside. In the tropics, it was not uncommon to sleep under a net that was tucked in all around under the mattress, so I guess that's 2 or 3 steps beyond the canopy bed - what a cool idea & no, I didn't know that, either. Makes sense, tho. The netting makes sense when you think of malaria, scorpions, bugs WAY to big to be real & all the other creepy critters that don't deserve mention... Might go that route. Didn't know the critters bit, either. DO all of 'em bite, or just the imports, or does anybody know? Ladybug teeth - what a thought!!!..Kt.

-- K-K-K-Katie (, October 13, 2000.

As soon as the weather gets cold the ladybugs head for warm places, like inside the house. You will see them on the sunny sides of houses crawling all over during the day and slipping inside at night. They go for the warmest places like the attic or ceiling where the heat rises to. Put the ones you catch in a box and put them in the attic. In the spring they will leave your house and you can put the box outside then also.


-- Mary in East TN (, October 13, 2000.

The tropical bug nets around the bed might be a good idea at other times of the year, too -- it seems impossible to keep mosquitos from getting into the house in spring and summer, and it's impossible to sleep with the little buggers buzzing you! One place we lived, we used to pitch our little tents out in the yard, and sleep out there, because it was easier to clear the tents of mosquitos than the whole bedroom. We get the lady bugs here, too, though not in as large quantities as some of you seem to be getting them -- I think I will talk to hubby about the mosquito netting, because I hate to hear little crunches from bug bodies as I crawl into bed!!

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, October 13, 2000.

I LOVE ladybugs (or lady bird beetles, as their known to entomologists) They are actually not "bugs" (which are hemiptera), but beetles (coleoptera). Sorry, I gotta show off my schoolin from 1966 :)

I'm looking forward to having them invade my house again this year. It's only happened twice before here in Oregon. I have also heard it's because they are imported from Asia. According to one internet site I checked a couple of years ago, native ladybugs don't live over the winter (I suppose it probably depends on whether there is a real winter where they live, though).

Regardless, I've only ever been bit one time by a lady bug. It hurt, but only very slightly, like a pinch. No lasting pain, like with a hornet or something.

After learning why the little cuties are flocking into the house, I decided to leave them alone. They just sit up in the corners of the ceiling, and the top of some of the windows, and when spring comes, they wake up and start trying to get out.

They are not real bright, I guess, or maybe they just forget during their long winter nap, but they seem unable to get out of the house the same way they got in. So I give them a hand; otherwise they die of thirst or something.

I just take a coffee mug in one hand, and a teaspoon in the other hand. I gently give them a little tap, while holding the mug right under them. I "make a basket" about 90% of the time. The ones who fall, but miss the mug, generally fly before hitting the floor, then land on the window, where I get a second chance to make a basket. It's a great new sport!

After I get enough of them in the mug, I just toss them out of the mug out the door. Off they go!

Usually, by the time I have a couple or three dozen in the mug, I'll have a few of them walking up my hand and arm. But they just seem like they don't know what's going on, and none have ever bit me.

The time I got bit, I was "collecting" insects for my entomology class at Texas Tech, in Lubbock, Texas. "Collecting" meant dropping the poor insects into a glass jar which had some kind of poison in it. I feel bad about it now, but we were forced to "collect" lots of different kinds of insects in this way. I guess the lady bug decided that I was someone who needed biting, since I was about to put her in my "kill jar".

I don't hold a grudge. I love 'em. Don't forget, they are VICIOUS predators of all kinds of garden pests, and do not eat plants.

If you get a chance, there's a cool site on the net that I found by searching for "lady bug", but don't have the URL for. It had lots of info about these useful creatures, including lots of pictures of all kinds of different species. I'd never paid much attention to their details before, but there are "nine spot", "seven spot", and lots of other kinds, each a different species. My favorite, which I find to amount ot about one in twenty or thirty of the lady bugs here, is the "twice stabbed lady bird beetle" which is shiny black all over except for one bright red spot on each side.

Now, who can tell me where all the lightning bugs have gone?


-- jumpoffjoe (, October 13, 2000.

The ladybugs are really bothering us too this past week! They are everywhere! We've been painting and while they don't stick in the latex paint, they were stuck all over the LP tank which we painted with Rustoleum. The ones here bite and it hurts. BTW, the kids & I did a pretty good job of painting the LP tank in camoflage (sp?), hoping it would blend into the backyard a little better. I don't think DH thought we would really paint it that way..but so far he hasn't made us go get white paint...

-- Jean (, October 13, 2000.

Send me some please.

-- Lisa Hopple (, October 15, 2000.

The overpopulation of ladybugs is a government experiment that got out of hand. They started on the west coast and worked there way here according to the DNR. They will bite and very painfully, too. Better ladybugs than spiders, although we have a population explosion of them this year.

-- Cindy (, October 16, 2000.

They had a piece about the ladybugs on the local news tonight. The entomologist interviewed for the piece said that they have migrated here (southern Wisconsin), there is a bigger than usual population due to our longer than usual growing season, and there is still plenty of food for them. But they are congregating now getting ready to hibernate. Apparently they get into groups according to their particular breed or species (and they do it by scent!). They also said that most of them are Asian ladybird beetles.

Summer of '99 I observed burdock stems well infested with aphids and their ants that "farm" them, with ladybug larvae chowing down on the aphids. The ants weren't defending the aphids, they seemed to be avoiding the ladybug larvae. It was all very interesting. Here were the farmers (ants) apparently unable to protect their sheep (aphids) from the coyotes (ladybug larvae). I didn't know whether to feel glad for the larvae or sorry for the ants (notice I didn't care about the aphids), since it was a burdock that was the battleground. I dug the burdock out later in the year after all the drama was over.

-- Joy Froelich (, October 17, 2000.

Lisa - come on over and bring your five gallon buckets!! I've tried spraying the porch and screens with water and vinegar water - I can barely get out the door to go to work! I have a south door and a west door and leave for work near sundown - it's like running a gauntlet to the car. I'm thinking about climbing out the north bedroom window - good thing I don't have any close neighbors! I put some cooking oil on top of a couple of inches of water in a can and went around the house knocking the ones I could reach into the can, thinking to give my chickens a snack - they wouldn't eat them! So, I guess it's back to the vacume cleaner - hope Sears is having a sale on vac bags!

-- Polly (, October 17, 2000.

I'm confused...

this is my 3rd year here in Southwestern Wisconsin. The first 2 years I avoided getting the "ladybugs" with the vacuum cleaner, rescued the ones that fell into the shower, and just put up with them til they left in the spring. Then our neighbor told me that she did some research on it, and found that they are not "real" ladybugs (i.e., not native) and are in fact bad bugs because they are eating the good ladybugs.

So this year I went and vacuumed up a bunch of them. I guess I should have left them alone, if they are beneficial.


-- Jane Pilsworth (, October 17, 2000.

I don't think your neighbor was correct. There are many Asian ladybugs here now, but as far as I know, they are not eating the natives.

How do you know you're not vacuuming up the natives too?

-- Joy Froelich (, October 18, 2000.

Scoop up those ladybugs into a container and put them in your fridge for the winter. They go into a hibernation. Come spring, turn them loose in your garden to eat the aphids and a few other things they eat. Free pesticide!!

-- ~Rogo (, October 18, 2000.

Great answers! One point missed. Inexpensive silicone caulking will help cut down on numbers of bugs in house. They are coming in thru cracks. Clear caulk is available. So before next year,Caulk inside and out windows and doors.Take off molding and caulk ceiling and floor.Look around pipes,outlets and other breaks in wall.A crack is like leaving a window open! Added benifit is it will cut down on your heating & cooling needs.

We had more problems with wasps getting in. And I'm allergic. Try laying on one of those paper wasps or mud daubers. Ouch! So we caulked everything in site.

We've done this to each house we've owned. Even newer houses often need it. A little labor intensive, but inexpensive and very well worth it.

-- sharon wt (, October 18, 2000.

I'm here in Rochester, New York. Grew up here knowing that ladybugs don't bite. Well, the other day I was standing outside talking to my sister and she saw a ladybug land on my cheek. She didn't say anything 'cause it was just a ladybug and they don't bite. Guess what? It bit me!! Kind of a shock. Went outside today and the ladybugs are all over the place....lots of 'em. I have never seen so many in one place and I'm 50 (you didn't hear me say that!) Well, I was standing there talking to my sister and shewing ladybugs away from me and I got bite , again. This time on the arm.....see ya, I'm going inside!

-- Pamela Wegman (, October 10, 2001.

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