Orange Ladybugs

The ladybug is a fan favorite. A few polka-dotted, red beetles in your garden during the springtime is a charming sight. But the cousin of the ladybug, the invasive Asian lady beetle, is less pleasant to have around your home.

While it’s unusual, Asian lady beetles can infest dogs’ mouths. If a dog happens to snap up some beetles, the insects may attach themselves to the roof of your pet’s mouth. This won’t always mean a trip to the emergency vet, though the beetles will usually need to be pried off. However, if swallowed, the insects can irritate a dog’s gastrointestinal tract and, in extreme cases, can be fatal. So keep your pets away from Asian lady beetles and check their mouths periodically.

Paying attention to these subtle differences can tell you if you need ladybug pest control or Asian lady beetle pest control services.

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Viveka Neveln is the Garden Editor at BHG and a degreed horticulturist with broad gardening expertise earned over 3+ decades of practice and study. She has more than 20 years of experience writing and editing for both print and digital media.

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It’s common to spot Asian lady beetles congregating in huge numbers on houses and other buildings in the fall. They can bite and will release an unpleasant odor when disturbed. Unfortunately, these invasive insects also have been pushing out native ladybugs. If you can tell the difference between the two insects, you might be able to stop an annoying problem before it starts.

Asian Lady Beetles look almost identical to native ladybugs when it comes to color, but there’s one distinctive marking that will make it easy to spot the difference between the two. On the black section just behind the bug’s head you’ll notice a white “M”-shaped marking—that’s the telltale sign you’re dealing with an Asian Lady Beetle, according to The Spruce.

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Outdoors, you can clear them off the areas where the beetles usually congregate with a broom or a strong spray of water from a power washer or hose. Then scrub down the area with soapy water; the pests most likely won’t return because the soap smell overpowers the pheromones that attract more beetles to the location.

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The best way to keep Asian lady beetles out of your home is by sealing and patching potential entrance points. In addition, close up any gaps around windows, doors, and siding to minimize risk. The good news is that if they do get into your home, Asian lady beetles won’t reproduce indoors and will make their exit in spring.

Asian lady beetles will gather in large groups, especially around warm, reflective surfaces like windows. The swarm can even find its way into your home. If you notice the bugs congregating in or around your home in fall or winter, they’re probably Asian lady beetles.

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Asian lady beetles are primarily insectivores and will eat aphids, mites, mealybugs, scale insects, and their eggs and larvae. Unfortunately, they will also eat native ladybugs (if they’re small enough) and will infest (and snack on) fall-ripening fruits like apples, pears, grapes, and berries.

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To safely get rid of Asian lady beetles in your home:

Other differences include biting. Asian lady beetles are biters while ladybugs very rarely bite. If you notice that the insects in your garden are nibbling on you, it’s probably the invasive Asian lady beetle.

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