Often during the fall we see little orange bugs with black spots, is this some kind of new ladybug species? Do they bite? Are they harmful? Should I get rid of them, ladybugs are harmless right? These may be a few of the questions that run through your head when you see these black and orange critters. The real questions are what are they, and should I be worried?
What are They?
The short answer is, the orange bugs with the black spots are not your friend, these bugs are called Asian Lady Beetles. The Asian Lady Beetle is a cousin to your friendly, garden variety ladybug, in that they do come from the same insect family, but one we want and one we the other we want to avoid. Their habits and behaviors are completely different.
Our red bugs with black spots that some people wish upon are friends to us. Ladybugs are a useful critter to have, they benefit us because they feed on aphids, a garden pest that damages gardens and crops. The ladybugs normally do not gather in large groups like their Asian cousins. The ladybug is a more solitary hunter and they also do not bite. The Asian Lady Beetle has been known to bite humans. Our ladybug friends also seek shelter outdoors unlike their unwanted Asian cousins.
Asian lady beetles are pests, in every sense of the word. They gather in large numbers, particularly near warm, reflective surfaces like windows. The Asian lady beetles,” bite” by scraping the skin when they land, then they leave behind a smelly, yellow, liquid residue where they gather. These bugs love to enter your home when winter draws near so they have a place to shelter for winter.
What Are Some Other Differences?
The Asian Lady Beetles look a lot like their Ladybug cousins, but there are some differences.
- Ladybugs are slightly smaller than the Asian Lady Beetles
- Asian Lady Beetles range in color from orange to red, Ladybugs are bright red with black spots
- Asian Lady Beetles do not always have black spots on their wing covers
- Asian Lady Beetles are a little longer than Ladybugs, while Ladybugs have a rounder oval shape
- A Ladybug’s head is shorter and more truncated than the pointier head on the Asian Lady Beetle
- The easiest way to tell them apart however at first glance, the Asian Lady Beetle has a very noticeable black “M” on their white heads, while Ladybugs’ heads are mostly black with small white markings more on the side of their heads, resembling cheeks.
The Problem with the Asian Lady Beetle
The main problems with these creatures are that they gather in large numbers, and they overwhelm the resources available for the beneficial Ladybugs. They also move into your home, leaving ugly yellow stains and foul-smelling odors where they gather. They also bite and they have been known to cause problems for animals that occasionally eat them, like dogs. The problem is when caught in an animal’s mouth, they secrete that yellow substance that has been known to burn mouths and can cause ulceration of the digestive tracts in animals, and in worse cases they can be fatal.
If you have an Asian Lady Beetle Infestation call All-Natural Pest Control at 877-662-8449 and we will evaluate how to treat the problem so you can be rid of these unwanted pests.