Don’t Mistake These Beetles For Lady Bugs Right Now in Central Texas
About a week ago, I was sitting in my living room and noticed oh... I don't know... about 50 ladybugs crawling on the walls! At least that's what I thought. So I let them be - very clear about the superstition of having bad luck if you kill a ladybug. I did think they looked a little different, but who am I to judge?
Well it turns out they were not lady bugs. They are actually called Asian Lady Beetles (also known as Harlequin Ladybird), they're prominent in Texas and they are not as friendly, albeit not dangerous. The adult beetles tend to stay in yards during hot summers but in autumn and early winter, they begin to congregate in warmer places. That's when home and building infestation kicks in.
Central Texas Urban Wildlife - a subset of Texas Parks and Wildlife - posted yesterday about the Invasion of the Asian Lady Beetles.
Unlike the native lady bug, Asian Lady Beetles were brought to the southern states in the 90's for agriculture pest control. And like every other story about someone bringing a new species to the United States, it got 'out of hand'.
The're looking for an overwintering roost. - Central Texas Urban Wildlife
Don't worry, Lady Beetles aren't dangerous to humans as they are annoying. They don't attack wood, food or clothing and don't reproduce indoors like our favorite bug - the roach. They don't transmit diseases but can cause allergies such as eye irritation and asthma is you're susceptible to it.
Lady Beetles, however, will sometimes bite or pinch you if they make contact with your skin but it's not serious. Also, they're kind of like a frat boy because they can sometimes stain surfaces with their yellowish secretions when disturbed.
Management of these Beetles
One of the best ways to manage lady beetles is vacuuming them up! Using a broom could work but you might see some yellow stains in the process. Insecticides and sealing are your other options. Make sure to follow proper procedures if you do decide to use chemicals.