Earwig and ladybug infestation

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I live in a log home (circa 1980) and have a nasty problem with ladybugs (year round) and earwigs in the spring and summer. We tried Dursban one year. That managed to wipe out the duck population on the farm - no more poison on the farm or in the house. I have also let the chickens run loose for two years, but they don't seem to like these bugs. Any suggestions?

-- rmq (honybee4me@yahoo.com), February 28, 2001


Ladybugs are a beneficial insect that eats mostly aphids. If you have mountains of ladybugs, I suspect that you have mountains of aphids to feed them. In this case, I think you should be careful what you wish for! :)

As for the earwigs... diatamaceous earth and chickens would be the best prescription. I wonder why your chickens don't care for eating them.

You might also try introducing your earwigs to the praying mantis. You can purchase little balls of praying mantis eggs. PM's will eat almost any insect.

Another thing you can do is attract wild birds which will eat the grains you put out and while they are around will dine on insects.

-- Paul Wheaton (paul@javaranch.com), February 28, 2001.

How about Guinea Fowl? Might be worth a try I would think.

-- Bob Johnson (Backwoods_Bob@excite.com), February 28, 2001.

Hi, Get Guineas. They'll east anything. We had a horrible problem with web caterpillars the first year we moved here and also huge number of Japanese beetles. Now we have hardly any, those Guineas really do a job. You don't need many, 4 or 6 will patrol many acres. Also, earwigs like places that are damp so if you put some boards on the ground in your damp places then pick up the boards after a few days, you should see many earwigs on the underside of the board and on the ground under the board. Then you can insect spray the fire out of them right there.


-- Mary in East TN (barnwood@preferred.com), February 28, 2001.

Why on Earth would you want to be rid of lady bugs??? Unless, these are the orange ones that bite, which are not ladybugs at all, but I don't remember their name.

As for earwigs... Nuke 'em with this:

In a kettle (not one you will cook food in) put about a gallon of water, and two tablespoons dish soap.

Add wood or cigarette ashes (about an ashtrays worth)

and tobacco from 1 cigarette (so borrow one and keep reading... I know... no poisons!!)

Put in powdered cayenne and powdered garlic till you can't stand the smell (maybe add these first if you don't smoke!)

boil it for about 10 minutes. Strain into a squeeze bottle.

Squeeze this gunk onto the foundation of your house - all the way around the outside. Soak it. Let it soak in.

After it dries, it is no threat to humans or animals. It keeps out spiders, earwigs, moths, roaches, ants (sometimes!), and all kinds of little buggers. Its been used in my family since my grandmother was a kid - and we never have problems.

You will only need to reapply it once every two years unless the little critters are more aggressive than any I've seen -

-- Sue Diederich (willow666@rocketmail.com), March 01, 2001.

Thank you for responding to my question! I mentioned Guineas to my hubby and he mentioned divorce...so the birds are not an option at this time...I'm looking into the praying mantis idea and I think that I will try Sue's suggestion...I appreciate the feedback. rmq

-- rmq (honybee4me@yahoo.com), March 02, 2001.

The ladybugs are Asian lady bugs, introduced by the same nice folks that thought multiflora rose would be good for erosion control, aka the DNR and others. Nothing, not even guineas, eat the darn things. The worst part is that the lady bugs don't touch the aphids that are there, like the ones that were all over my hybrid tea rose bushes last summer! Talk about stupid ideas gone crazy! We have hundreds, sometimes thousands, in the house, and vacuuming them up every day is the only control that works. They are attracted to white structures particularly, and come right through brand new well insulated windows, so old houses are not the only targets! There are hundreds in the window tracks of every window in our house, despite the vacuuming. On sunny warm days, they can literally cover the outside of the white house siding and white barn siding on the south and west sides. Poison will work for a couple days, then immunity occurs, and they come back. Here, they have been a major nuisance for four years now, and seem only to be getting worse. I have been trying to devise an attraction light/device to use in the house to at least get them all in one place to dispose of easier, I know it would sell off the shelves locally if someone could invent a thing that works!!!

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (annie@1st.net), March 02, 2001.

Well, I won't say NOTHING will eat them, my 16mo daughter gave one a try. Poor kid... They obviously taste as bad as they smell because she was highly upset and walked around with her tongue hanging out until I finally got her to drink a little juice. Of course this won't work for long-term control, I don't think she'll try it again! Fortunately we don't have them as bad in IN as we did in KY.

-- Hoosiermom (hdnpines@hotmail.com), March 06, 2001.

So, these orange ladybugs (with lots of black spots by the way) are a breed that we can't be rid of? They just showed up last summer, never went away this winter completely and have now increased their numbers. Should we call an exterminator? Help!

-- Deborah Perrella (perella@en.com), April 08, 2001.

Those of you who say "why would you want to kill a lady bug?" obviously have not been through one of these infestations. Ever since the DNR released these things it's gotten periodically worse every year. When your using snow shovels to remove ladybugs off your porch is when you stop thinking they are cute. With perfect timing they are arriving as I type, there are times when it seems like it's raining these critters. Good Luck.

-- Mr. Sympathiser (trigger_23@ureach.com), October 11, 2001.

HELP!!! I live on the fourth floor of an apartment and woke up this morning to swarms of ladybugs on my little balcony. There were none last night when I stepped out on my balcony. It is a little warm...about 69 degrees and I live in Illinois outside Chicago. We've also had rain in the last day or so....but none of that is unusual. I'm afraid to open the sliding doors...but now I noticed some are inside the glass in the living room. What do I do??? Do they breed like ants? Will they just go away?

-- (tessa99@earthlink.net), October 11, 2001.

Why would anyone want to get rid of ladybugs? Because they are IN MY HOUSE and all over my BED, where I sleep, all over my room, etc. I like them, OUTSIDE! I can assure you my bed and walls are not covered with aphids or any other bug they eat! Argh! They are a nuisance, and it's GROSS to have them in bed! They are literally pouring in through the window frame, and I'd love a way to get rid of them without poisoning my ferrets.

-- April Armstrong (grape_apes@hotmail.com), October 12, 2001.

i came to look for a way to get rid of these nasty ladybugs. they have been coming to the same window now for 3years. the first year was the WORST. its the window that gets all the sun. i continue to vacuum them up..and i can see from reading..thats the only way. i thougt of covering up AC in wall at that window, it also seems that wont keep them out. I now despise ladybugs and i will not let them "free"..i kill EVERY one i can vacuum up. the worst i lying in bed and hearing them hitting the ceiling at nite.!!

-- mz (mosense@yahoo.com), October 12, 2001.

It's really funny, but the ladybugs around here (SE MA) just popped out today. At first I thought it was bees, but once I saw it was the ladybugs, I was angry. They come back every year, and they get into everything. I just did a Google search for "ladybug infestation" and this is the first link that came up. Anyway, lemme vent. They are covering the entranceway to my house. It is DISGUSTING. I am about 2 seconds away from vacuuming them up.

-one angry bug-hater.

-- FredK (fred_k24@hotmail.com), October 12, 2001.

Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum (inside of course).

-- Ann Markson (tngreenacres@hotmail.com), October 12, 2001.

We live in a small, old, white house and every year we seem to get ladybugs coming in through our 26 front windows and our front door. This year they are worse than ever. outside they look like swarms of bees and our front door just happenes to be the "hive". We've tried so many things to get rid of them but nothing works!! I guess we'll have to try vacuming but there's so many. Why'd the DNR release these ladybugs??? well if anyone has a tip e-mail me 'cause i need some major !HELP!

-- Tonya McCulley (tmcculley2@juno.com), October 13, 2001.

I am writing from Canada, near to Ottawa, Ontario. Over the past few days, I have spotted a few ladybugs inside the house and thought nothing of it. Today, however, the exterior of our orange brick house is covered with them. Like everyone else has stated, they are covering the window edges and door frames in particular but are also all over our soffet and even roof shingles. This happened overnight! I was hoping for some answers from somebody. Seeing that we will soon be into a deep freeze up here, will that kill them? Any ideas ... or should I just start vacuuming?

-- Mary & Roger (rkaupe@sympatico.ca), October 13, 2001.

Same here in Manchester, VT. My wife is ready to move out! We have thousands covering the outside white clapboard of our house and thousands climbing in the cracks around windows and doors. I've had the vacuum cleaner out, but they are everywhere. My wife sprayed insect spray in one of our bedroom windows and we now have 2" of dead ladybugs on the sill. I believe they will be done when we get some cold weather at night. It has been very warm the last few days and I think this brings them out to find a warm place to winter.

Please pass along any advice you may have!

-- gss (thebooter@aol.com), October 13, 2001.

hey -

my home is similarly plagued by ladybugs.

after spending the morning trying to paint the exterior of my house (you guessed it; the wet paint was quickly filled with HUNDREDS of writhing ladybugs!)

i spent the afternoon surfing for an answer ...

and i found a glimmer of hope - the designer of this trap is apparently the very person who brought the lady bugs here. i understand that the higher watt blacklight is most successful.

i will check in with a progress report later this week.


- jules

-- jules (tzulu@earthlink.net), October 20, 2001.

an addition to my previous message - I thought it would be helpful to provide some of the background information on the imported lady bug.

I pulled a few paragraphs from an article I found in US news and World Report on the web:

Few lowly insects have been better known and liked than the cheerful, spotted ladybug. But these days, the love affair has ended for many homeowners, as millions of imported ladybugs, the Asian multicolored lady beetle, invade houses from Maine to Florida to Oregon. Seeking refuge from the cold, the beetles enter homes through cracks and uncaulked windows in the fall. Once inside, dozens to hundreds of them crash into walls and light fixtures, divebomb sleeping children, and crunch underfoot. After a few weeks, most bugs settle down behind walls, but lengthening daylight and indoor heat may lure them back into rooms in January or February--that is, any day now. Agricultural researchers tried for the better part of this century to introduce the beetles, Harmonia axyridis, as biological control agents against crop-destroying aphids. But many entomologists believe the bugs plaguing homeowners today descended not from introduced, lab-reared beetles but from more robust bugs that hitched a ride on an Asian freighter and jumped ship near the port of New Orleans. They traveled fast: After being discovered in Louisiana in 1988, the beetles colonized Mississippi and Georgia by 1992, then moved south to Florida and north to Virginia, Delaware, and Pennsylvania by 1993 ...

Tedders has invented an indoor trap that uses a black light to attract the bugs. In laboratory tests, the plastic trap--which measures 12 by 24 inches and can be assembled in two minutes--caught all the H. axyridis in a large room. The USDA, which sponsored Tedders's work, is evaluating companies interested in producing the traps commercially, and they may be available by fall ...

If you do some searching within the USDA, you should find more information about this imported lady bug...


-- jules (tzulu@earthlink.net), October 20, 2001.

Those orange beetle lady bug things are taking over! We live in Northern IL on a hog farm and it is like a horror movie! They are in the house by the thousands! When you walk outside they pelt you and you are covered. The dogs are staying in their dog houses as they do not like it either. These nasty things stink and they leave trail marks all over the walls and ceilings. I hav been running the sweaper non stop. I clean the front porch off with a scoop. THEY ARE THICK! At night we hear them clicking on the ceilings. My daughter is having night mares thinking they are covering her body. They are everywhere! PLEASE PLEASE, someone tell me how to kill these nasty things. We have them every year but this is by far THE WORST. Laura lauradeo@rmi.net

-- Laura (laurdeo@rmi.net), October 21, 2001.

Has anyone tried making a trap using pheromones? There are offers like "eau de ladybug" etc. offered in catalogs to attract ladybugs to your garden. Maybe they would work like japanese beetle traps or flour moth traps? Jutta

-- Jutta Ittner (jxi6@po.cwru.edu), October 22, 2001.

Anyone who has ever had this infestation will tell you that these guys are monsters. They are hardier than japanese beetles and more aggressive. They drink insecticide like a fine cabernet, which cost less than the insecticide! This is our 4th year and I'm about to look for a 12 step program!

-- Rene Hodges (rhodges@jpc.com), October 23, 2001.

Here is another page containing two trap options -- one that kills and one that contains so you can release the bugs live:http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page599.html No endorsement -- I've never used either, but am thinking about trying them. Has anyone used one of these traps?

-- r maddow (maddow@rcn.com), February 28, 2002.

I feel for you all. My college is infested, but it seems to be mostly around our wing. The steps leading to our building are coated with crushed ladybugs, and the doors, walls, and windows are crawling with live ones. What's even worse than having to walk through swarms of them is that they get into your clothes and you take them home with you. Many a student now has ladybugs in their homes now. If anyone knows what they feed on perhaps we could get rid of that, or put some somewhere else. Is that blacklight trap available anywhere? Is there any natural repellent like pepper spray? ANYTHING!!???!!

-- Phedra L'Abbe (song_nymph@hotmail.com), April 13, 2002.

We had a great infestation of those 'ladybugs', too. I put that stick- on plastic stuff on the windows that got the afternoon sun (its silver on the outside and smoky on the inside, but you can still see through it). I put it up to keep the house cooler in the summer, but it had an unexpected effect. It must have confused the 'ladybugs' because they haven't come in since (3 years). We still have huge swarms outside so they are still in the area, but not in the house.

-- Gayle in KY (gayleannesmith@yahoo.com), April 13, 2002.

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