If you’re still scratching your head, that’s okay. It was a trick question. They are ALL lady beetles. This picture illustrates why many people think the two insects are one and the same. They are not.
2Very Funny. So How Can I Tell the Difference?
Ladybugs are helpful garden insects; lady beetles sit comfortably at the top of the invasive species list for the North America. If it bites you, is more orange than red, stinks when you smash it, and collects in lazy clusters in cold weather, it’s likely an Asian lady beetle.
Crunch, crunch. During summer months, we mostly forget about the lady beetles, but as the weather cools down, lady beetles clump together in search of a warm place for protection. They especially love sunlit or illuminated surfaces.
4Hold Off on the Hulk Smash
As you can see in the picture above, crushing a lady beetle results in a smelly, orange stain. It washes easily off your hands, but not carpeting and walls. And if you try to crush hundreds of swarmed individuals? I have, and the stink feels like you got punched in the sinuses.
5Not Perfect, But Your Best Option…
Short of calling an exterminator, your best bet for clearing out the clusters of crunchy lady beetles is by vacuuming. If it’s a problem throughout the year, I would suggest purchasing a one or two gallon wet/dry vac and store it in the garage when not in use, because it will stink after sucking up thousands of lady beetles. If that’s not in your budget, the picture above shows how you can use your household vacuum without ruining it.
6The Lady Beetle: Spotted, Orange-Colored Irony
Where did this pestilential pest come from? Look in a mirror. Native to eastern Asia, the USDA thought they’d provide an inexpensive solution to riding crops of aphid infestations, releasing them in the late 1970s. This ravenous insect made short work of the aphids…but just kept on going. And multiplying.