Asian Lady Bug

Lady beetles feed on aphids and other soft-bodied insects that can damage plants in agricultural crops, gardens and landscapes, making them beneficial insects to farmers and gardeners. However, one lady beetle species, the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), has become very troublesome in Rhode Island. Also known as the Asian lady beetle, Halloween lady beetle, and Japanese lady beetle, these insects cluster around buildings in large numbers during fall as they search for protected sites to over-winter. They mistake the shingles of a home for the bark of a tree and congregate under siding for overwintering sites.

The multicolored Asian lady beetle is a native of eastern Asia. These insects were released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in California in 1916 and in 1964 -1965 for biological control of pecan aphids. They were also released for additional biological control programs from 1978 through 1982 in Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Despite these releases, lady beetles were not recovered and they did not appear to become established.

Then in 1988, a population of multicolored Asian lady beetles was found in Louisiana, north of New Orleans. These lady beetles spread quickly throughout the southern and eastern United States. No one knows whether their presence today is due to deliberate releases or accidental introductions.  When they congregate in homes in large numbers we are often called to help homeowners control them.  Warning: do not crush the insects since they will leave orange stains on walls and curtains.  Narragansett Pest Control can do a preventative treatment to keep them out of your building.