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What we typically think of when we picture ladybugs are the small, round bugs with red wing covers speckled in black spots. These friendly critters are not classified by entomologists as true bugs, but rather, are scientifically identified as beetles (Coccinellidae). Most entomologists therefore prefer to call these insects “lady beetles.” In England they are referred to as ladybirds. Not all lady beetles are red, and not all have black spots. Some are tiny and black with hairy wing covers. Lady beetles can be orange, pink or yellow. One species of lady beetle is even black with red spots!
Ladybugs are typically regarded as useful because they prey on insects that feed on plants and can cause damage to landscaping and greenery in your yard or garden. Ladybugs feed on aphids and scale insects, keeping these insect populations at bay. They are considered harmless to humans and highly beneficial. When the weather turns cold, ladybugs seek shelter in protected and warm outdoor spaces.
Do Ladybugs Bite?
Here’s where things get tricky. The short answer is that ladybugs do not bite humans. However, there is a species of beetle that was recently introduced to North America that looks very similar to ladybugs that does bite humans, and it can be very difficult to tell the two apart.
You need to get up close to these two species of beetle to tell the difference: if you check the spot where the head meets the wings and notice a small black “M” at that spot, you’re looking at an Asian lady beetle. These beetles will typically have more white on their heads overall and more white markings on their “cheeks.” Behaviorally, Asian lady beetles are considered a true pest. They gather around warm surfaces, particularly windows and door frames, especially in winter when they come inside seeking out shelter and warmth.
Do Asian Lady Beetles Bite?
Asian lady beetles are more aggressive than ladybugs overall. They “bite” you by scraping the skin of those with whom they come into contact. When Asian lady beetles feel threatened, they will secrete a terrible smelling yellow liquid, called “reflex bleeding.” This stinky, yellow liquid can stain surfaces and even possibly trigger allergic reactions.
How To Prevent Asian Lady Beetle Bites
If you are finding ladybugs or ladybug look-alikes in your home, there are a few things you can do. If you have found just one or two that have made their way inside through a window or door crack, you can pick them up using a glove and take them outside or you can vacuum them up, making sure to quickly empty the vacuum to remove them from your home. If you have found more than just a few near your doors or windows, it is time to call a knowledgeable professional who is trained to eliminate ladybug populations from homes.
Find A Pest Specialist For Ladybug Control
If you are concerned about ladybug control for your home, please give us a call or fill out the form on this page. PestControlExperts.com is a team of experts who are highly qualified to provide the best recommendations for you and your home, no matter which part of the United States you live in.Call 855-891-5410