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They’re everywhere. But what are they? The red, orange or tan insects you see around your home or in your yard weren’t introduced into the United States until the early 1900s, but Asian lady beetles have since then made an impact on their surroundings. Fall months are a prime time for Asian lady beetles to showcase their sheer numbers. Here’s what you need to know about the bugs:

What do they look like?

There isn’t a cookie cutter description of what every Asian lady beetle look like. They could be red with 20 spots, or they could be orange with no spots at all. They resemble other lady beetles, but are typically about 1/3 of an inch long. So, how do you tell them apart from other insects? Look for an “M” or a “W” marking on their back, near their head. The brisk weather that accompanies fall often signals Asian lady beetles searching for an indoor home, which could be your attic, a wall space, or your own living room. As the sun moves throughout the day, you can find the insects resting in the warm reflections, as they tend to favor sunny sides of rooms or buildings.

How did they get here?

A native of Asia, the Asian lady beetle wasn’t introduced to the United States until around 1916 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a means of biological control in California. In the 1970s and 1980s, the insects were further dispersed throughout the United States and eventually made their way to the Midwest. It is uncertain whether all releases were purposeful or accidental. Either way, Asian lady beetles are capable of major infestations.

Do I Need to Worry?

Well, Asian lady beetles are generally unwelcome, but they don’t put you in any danger. Though Asian lady beetles’ enormous clusters in and around buildings and homes can be an annoyance, they won’t infest wood, eat food or destroy fabrics. They’re also not known for carrying any diseases. However, Asian lady beetles do secrete a yellow-colored liquid from their joints, which can leave a stain on certain surfaces and cause a strong smell, so be careful next time you think about squishing one. Chances are, you’d rather not allow Asian lady beetles in your home. If you’re looking for a method to eliminate the pests, it’s best to talk to a professional. Many DIY methods that involve chemicals can be dangerous, and the Asian lady beetles could leave a horrible smell in your home. Prevention is key when it comes to Asian lady beetles — be sure to seal cracks in doors and windows, as just a start. But in the end, DIY methods simply aren’t as effective as calling in a professional with all the right tools. Plunkett’s Pest Control has the experience and expertise to help you get rid of the crawling creatures. We’ve been in operation for over 100 years, and our family-owned and operated business prides itself in providing the highest customer service. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment.

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