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The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Where did all the ladybugs come from?

Last week, we were dealing with very cold temperatures and even snow. Today it’s warm and sunny, but my house is being invaded by ladybugs!

From time to time, in the fall, we have many people write to us about the ladybugs that come out in the fall. Are they a sign of a harsh winter to come? Are they bringing good luck?

While you may have heard the superstition that ladybugs bring good luck, they don’t seem to have any weather predicting ability. There is no significance between the number of ladybugs and the upcoming winter forecast. Fall infestation of these beetles is definitely a sign of winter’s approach. As the temperatures begin to cool, these bugs love when a sunny day beckons to them to come out and soak up the rays. If it’s a warm autumn day, you may see tons of ladybugs on the sunniest side of your house.

In the fall as the nights cool down, the bugs gravitate to warm places during the days (soaking up the sun (rays) on your house). They will do anything or go any place for a bit of warmth. In fact, if there is a tiny opening around a window or door, they find their way in and seem to invite all of their relatives.

Bottom line – the ladybugs are getting the last bit of warmth and mean no harm. Ladybugs are friends of a garden. They feed on insect eggs, small worms, and other pests. They are not necessarily friends in homes. They can damage carpets and furniture with their secretions, and if your home is really infested, when they die they can be all over window sills throughout the house. Best way to get rid of them? Vaccuum.

44 comments

1 CAROL { 02.17.14 at 12:08 pm }

We live in West Tn. and have a terrible problem with these pesty bugs. Our worst room
gets the morning sun. We use the sticky boards used to catch mice or spiders. (sold at walmart) This seems to be our wintertime hobby, catching ladybugs. The board is easier than dragging the vac around. Can’t wait for spring when they suddlenly are gone. Good luck IN GOD WE TRUST

2 Brookedoll { 10.11.13 at 1:52 pm }

We live on Lake of Bays, Ontario….to my amazement I am in our newly built Muskoka Room sucking up these tiny orange beetles like they are going “out of style”! The Vaccumn Cleaner is my best friends numerous times a day. Our cars are covered in, thereby unable to open our windows to ventilate. Along with the bugs, I am also finding a lot of Cluster Flies of which I think were making our Build their home before the roof went on?

3 Patricia { 10.02.13 at 7:58 am }

I live in southern ontario..Halton Hills…have not seen a single ladybug all summer now all of a sudden they are everywhere! they showed up one night last week and now I see them all the time..they are the orange ones…not the lovely red ones. I have not seen a true red ladybug in years now…too bad as I had a lot of aphids this year and would have liked to have seen them then…too late now as my garden was desimated by aphids slugs and earwigs this year…it is October 2 2013 and I just don’t get it…where have they been?

4 JOHN ADAMS { 02.12.13 at 3:34 pm }

I am a truck driver I drive the lower 48 states and I have a ladybug problem!! In the last 2 months I have experienced over 400 ladybugs in my truck flying around dive bombing me in the face trying to get to the window to get out!!! But while Im driving even though I crack the window to let them out they are reluctant to go out in the wind whipping by so I have to help them with a lil push!! Which is dangerous while Im driving especially on the passenger side window ! What can I use in this small space to get them out and keep them out for good that wont harm me too. I kicked out 27 of them yesterday alone and 18 more today so far!!!! PLEASE HELP ME

5 Linda Althouse { 03.11.12 at 2:55 pm }

We have had these bugs for several years since they brought them in to eat afids. I just want to know how to get rid of them. They usually are under control of the vacumm by now but this year I have not been able to make a dent in them and it’s March!! Any suggestions??

6 Jennifer { 11.11.11 at 1:28 pm }

EVerybody we tell about the beetles to say the same thing, their cute, eat aphids and are great for the garden etc. Well, they stink, they are dirty, they leave their dirty, stinking droppings ane they are into everything! Use Bug Stop by Spectracide. On all the insides of windows, all doors inside and outside same for the windows. Bug Stop works for months. During the winter when it’s sunny out they will be in that are, spray the area and where you think they might be coming in. I went from thousands of bugs on ciellings, walls and floors to just about a dozen. Keep up your with your spraying and you should see a HUGE difference! Let me know how you make out.

7 kristina { 11.08.11 at 6:08 pm }

i started getting ladybugs 2years ago and it was the WORST experience ever.the first time im like okay maybe the window is open and then after a while i wuld get so mad id start crying and killing them. when im trying to sleep they ALWAYS hit the wall making this annoying sound yesterday i came home to them and im like okay im just gonna let it be i just came home and now there is a fly..that happened last time as well i got a bunch of ladybugs and ONE fly why is that im freaked out i wanna pack up and leave its a hassel worrying about if im gonna grab my sweatshirt with ladybugs in them or if i get outta bed and i step on one. im gonna have to vaccumm them i guess and of course my room gets the warmest cos its by the sun but so is my parents and my sister yet this happens to me

8 Bob Bennett { 10.18.11 at 10:25 pm }

I hate ladybugs and I am going to kill them all no matter how many aphids they eat!! I dont even have rose bushes!!! The smelly things will no longer invade my house!!!

9 Terry { 10.16.11 at 3:48 am }

Don’t want to kill them? Find an old drinking glass, scoop them up and set them free outside! Just make sure you seal up the opening where they came inside in the first place!

10 lasy rose { 10.10.11 at 4:27 pm }

Lol thats horrible to just vacuum them up!

11 lasy rose { 10.10.11 at 4:27 pm }

thank you for the info I have found that this bugs do bite. I live in the country and this is the first for me to see them fly around like this , Ive had them in my gardens but this is so bad you cant even go outside. thank you again
..

12 lasy rose { 10.10.11 at 4:26 pm }

wow now why r they called lady bugs

13 Truman { 09.11.11 at 4:56 pm }

I personally like Lady Bugs, because they help with my garden, i don’t find them inside my house anyways, well as long as the windows and doors are shut. Some people think their gross and so on.. but i they rarely bite humans(it doesn’t hurt even if it does) it’s just a little nible. I don’t like the vaccuuming idea, if i ever find any i just catch them and let them back outside. And i believe Lady bugs are a different breed of beetles then “Asian Lady Beetles”- i think they have ALOT of black dots and comes in the colour yellow- which i don’t think lady bugs do.

14 Wyoma { 08.24.11 at 1:10 pm }

I recently read an article about Asian ladybugs which were imported for some reason which I don’t recall, but it said these are the ones that invade homes, and they do actually bite. They are hardier than the American ladybug and therefore are replacing our nice friendly ladybugs. The article said they look a bit different with bigger spots. So if you have that kind you need an exterminator.

15 Abish { 06.30.11 at 2:45 pm }

9 yellow lady bugs came on my stitchen light bolb i say suck the suckers with vacume.

16 marc { 03.16.11 at 4:19 pm }

We have them aslo, live in the country in E.Kansas lots of cropland,I read they brought the bettles in for pest control for the soybeans?

17 Barbara Hardee { 01.05.11 at 3:17 pm }

Ours showed up about mid-October. When I tell you I remove anywhere from 500 to 1,000 per day I am being serious. They get in our hair, food, when I try to work in my loft on basket weaving they’re in the soaking water, on my face, etc. I finally put up one hanger of flypaper from a ceiling light and the little suckers do get caught but not enough. We can’t even read in bed, all over us and our book. And, they bite hard, most folks don’t believe it. We do plan to ‘bomb’ the house as soon as they leave. This is our worst year since 2006. I think I’d rather have cockroaches. When do they typically leave?

18 hrld { 11.11.10 at 8:24 pm }

They only hit two windows and a door on the warm side of the house. I open the window and put a little ammonia and water in the windowsill three times a day. It seemed to work, but it was late in the season so I haven’t given it a full test at the peak time.
I also spray outside every few days. It’s supposed to last a while. I don’t know how long. I totally got rid of ants by destroying the nests near the house with fuel oil and wash the counters in the kitchen with soap, leaving a thin film. That destroys their trails and the don’t seem to like it either.
For fruit flies, those tiny gnat like bugs, I use bug bombs and fly paper. Someone said they don’t like candles either. And bugs need water so I try to keep surfaces dry.
In the country I get snakes that kill the mice. That works and the snakes usually stay out of sight. I think I only have one, but no mice now ‘cuz I’m friendly to the snakes.

19 trisha { 11.09.10 at 7:47 pm }

do lady bugs come from other lady bugs

20 walker77 { 08.19.10 at 1:38 pm }

I live in va, and we also have the little pesky critters, never fails round here, usually they come out on halloween, past few years they have been steadily getting worse, all in the house, yucko! vacuuming is all we have figured out to do with then, everyday till they thin out, then you find them in the window sills for most of the winter….really do wish there was another way….to get rid of em…sounds like they are pretty much invading the whole country-

21 Patsy Ledbetter { 07.28.10 at 10:38 am }

I have a studio where I paint everyday. Occasionally, I will have Lady Bugs, the red kind with black spots, come in and wind up on the windows. I welcomed them because I have a problem with aphids on my roses. These cute little critters don’t bite and so far have not been a problem except for me having to try to catch them to throw them outside so they won’t die. I have even seen live ones for sale in a Rose Nursery. They cost about $30.00 a bag for about 30 bugs. I think the bug that is being talked about in these comments, is not a true Lady Bug. People like them so much here in hot humid Texas, that a new fad of making Garden Art Lady Bugs from old Bowling Balls is a popular craft.
By the way, have you ever tried to pick up a little slick round bug with little black wiggly legs potruding from the underside and not damage it? I would rather be painting.

22 Suzanne { 04.28.10 at 12:36 pm }

Don’t leave ladybugs in your vacuum. The dead bodies will stink it up. We have a lot of ladybugs in our seasonal cottage every Spring. Some years are worse than others. I just hate to have them drop down on me when I watch TV at night. This year was worse than last year.
Suzanne

23 Sheila { 04.24.10 at 9:16 pm }

We also have these Asian lady bugs in southeast Missouri, & they are a real pain. Not only do they bite you, they cover the side of your house, your windows & we can’t even sit outside in the evening from them swarming around you & flying into you biting. There are hundreds of them, they die everywhere & you have to vacum & sweep them up! I haven’t seen a real Ladybug in years! What happened to Ladybugs? Did the Asian Bug take over?

24 Kyle { 04.14.10 at 6:33 pm }

I lived in Knoxville, TN between E
2002-2006 and our house was in a woodsy area of town. Every fall and spring when temeratures were warmer the ladybugs would attack. Not by the hundreds, but by what seemed to be millions. They coated our house on the south face, and infested our garage. I vaccumed and vaccumed, and it seemed to make the others more invasive. The exterminator told us that there is little one can do. I tried to bug bomb the garage; this merely provoked the little monsters into the ventelation and then into every corner of every ceiling in the house. They were brought to the U.S. To kill athids that were killing pine trees. I say we all declare an all out war. Who’s with me? Let’s call on Obama to declare an official state of emergency and bring in the troops. I moved to Chattanooga, and had 2 years of peace, but now they have found me again. What does a man have to do? Ladybugs, this is kyle, and its officially on! Death to ladybugs.
Kyle

25 Melle { 04.03.10 at 2:31 pm }

We’ve dealt with these for several years (we call them pumpkin bugs to differentiate from true ladybugs) and the only thing that really seems to help is Ortho’s Home Defense Spray. You’ll need to spray the foundations and around all openings – probably need to NOT be home that day. Once they’re inside, they can nest in the insulation, hide in cracks and around plumbing, and are definitely attracted to light. I got tired of vacuuming and having them crawl/fly out afterward or flushing them away, so now I resort to all out war against the ones inside my home. I keep an old disposable water bottle in my bathroom and each day I catch all I can in the bottle, add a little hot water and shake ‘em to death. Man, I hate those things!

BTW – they will occasionally swarm a home. Several years ago we destroyed an orgy-ball of beetles that was about 10 inches in diameter! They had swarmed thru a tiny crack between our upper & lower windows – all within a few hours! That one we vacuumed up and took outside where we burned it.

26 jean perkins { 04.01.10 at 3:22 pm }

I live in west central alabama and in october of 1998 my new home became invested with this type ladybug or beetle which ever it is. I have had them ever since. I am now going to talk to an exterminator to maybe be rid of them. thanks for all the info

27 Vicki Richardson { 02.23.10 at 10:35 am }

Hello..We have a home in NW Ohio and I had never seen stink bugs aka Lady Bugs,but when we go to our cabin in SE Ohio close to the West Virginia border there is such an infestation it is horrible.
We have had our cabin for four years. The first year we had them but not that bad,the second year it was like we had a blizzard,my husband would be out working in the yard, and he would be literally swarmed by them.
What bothers me is the film they leave on my windows,it is not only smelly but they leave a thick yellow film.
I spend the summer and fall cleaning my windows several times a day.The worst that happened to me is when I took a sip of my ice water and sucked one up my straw,it was so disgusting!
My husband said someone told him that they were brought in to feed the turkey’s.

28 Barbara { 02.10.10 at 3:15 am }

They are a different breed of bugs than the Ladybugs we have always known, I have been told they are Asian bugs. We have had them bad for several yrs. They have come out with an insecticide that will get rid of most of them. Have to have a licensed exterminator to spray. Only spray in the fall when they are seeking a warm place to go. We have saome yet but not near the hundreds we have had.

29 Deborah { 02.09.10 at 8:11 pm }

Okay, so these are NOT LADY BUGS. You are refering to Asian Lady Beetles, they are different. They were imported to several states supposedly for pest control, (kinda like Kudzu). You know where that went. Anyway they can be yellow, orange or red, spots or no spots. Lady bugs are RED with spots. These beetle bite and they stink when you smush them or when they die. They like light colored houses and usually stay on the south side of the house. They come out of the woods where they do tend to eat avids and some other pest. Another one of those things someone thought we needed, you can google asian lady beetles to learn more. However after usuing a shop vac to clean up the million or more that were in our house 2008/2009 there is not much else you can do. Cold weather is the only thing that slows them down.

30 Dennis in WV { 02.09.10 at 7:48 pm }

I think I could deal with the ladybugs, but we’ve been inundated with stinkbugs!! Someone told me they were imported to reduce the ladybugs and the ladybugs were imported to deal with the aphids, etc, etc. One pest control guy told me he sees them mostly near bodies of water (rivers, etc.) and we are near the Potomac. Maybe this lovely winter will rid us of them??

31 Ellie { 02.03.10 at 7:58 am }

I am glad I live in the NWst We have them in our gardens and on flowers, but not in the house ever. It would be pretty awful if we had them like you folks. Gives me the shivers.

32 Lisa { 01.26.10 at 8:06 pm }

Wow I live in upstate NY it’s in the middle of winter snow on the grownd and I still find living Ladybugs, they don’t bother me, I just don’t like spiders and flys in my house…

33 Stan { 12.31.09 at 1:11 am }

I live in Ontario Canada, ( No not in an Iglo ) and there is a foot of snow on the ground it’s -7 outside and inside in the bathroom (ensuit) there are dead lady bugs on the floor. I clean them up about ten or fifteen, and in about four or five days I find the same amount dead on the bathroom floor. We hardly use that bathroom and today I found two dead flys I do not get it. I hate bugs and bees I run away, but an angry anything I will stand my ground, but not for bees or bugs. LOL
Stan

34 lINDA { 11.15.09 at 6:53 pm }

We are seeing alot of lady bugs this year as winter approaches. We live in Louisiana. I know the myth about early or severe winters being the prediction but is there any truth to it. Our hummingbirds also migrated early this year.

35 Kim in NW IN { 11.10.09 at 3:36 pm }

I concur with the other folks who are annoyed and frustrated with these little insects! Harmless or not, it sure would be nice to be rid of them once and for all!

A few years ago, we were enjoying an evening at home, when all of the sudden we noticed a very hot electrical smell. Paranoid that there was faulty wiring in the walls or attic, we called the fire department to see if they could send a couple guys out with one of those thermal detectors. Much to my dismay, the entire fire department showed up at our home, sirens and lights full force! They even brought the tanker truck!

After having several men traipsing through my home, they ruled out any faulty electrical wiring and assured us every thing was a-ok. As we were standing around talking, I happened to see something crawling out of my computer monitor…can you guess what it was?! Those little suckers marched inside and shorted the monitor! You think they smell bad when you squish or just touch them, try having one fried! :)

36 Dave Ankenman { 11.09.09 at 9:53 pm }

Would an electronic bug repeller work to keep them out of the house?

37 darlene prassinas { 11.09.09 at 7:36 am }

I wish someone would give a more permanant solution. I’m sick to death of dealing with this every October. They stink, they get in my home, they’ve even found their way in my refrigerator and everytime we open the door, you smell their horrible odor. I’m ready to call an exterminator. Enough.

38 Pat { 11.02.09 at 2:41 pm }

This is my 4th year of living in the country and I have never seen so many ladybugs. We can’t go outside without fighting the ladybugs off, they are so thick you can see them flying everywhere. They are even invading our home through cracks aroound the screens we have since had to tape up. I know they are harmless but any kind of bug crawling in my home runs cold chills up and down my spine. I can’t stand it. I live in Tennessee between Nasville and Memphis and have cotton fields all around my house. We are having unusual warm temps also. Where are they coming from and how do I get rid of them?

39 Janet { 10.27.09 at 7:42 pm }

We have suffered the ladybug “challenge” for 5 or 6 years in a row now. Thankfully the rain arrived, along with cooler weather, here in Pennsylvania and I hope this year’s battle is over. They might be healthy for gardens, but they give me the creeps as I watch them march along the crown molding in my dining room (on the sunny side of the house, of course). I too have resorted to disposing of them via vacuum cleaner!

40 sunny dawn { 10.26.09 at 8:01 pm }

wow !

41 jill { 10.22.09 at 6:53 pm }

The so called ladybugs at our home are not harmless, they not only coat the side of our home, they BITE! It’s a battle of wills when I attempt to get into my home each evening. Once inside it’s a half an hour with the vaccuum to get rid of them and another couple of hours until their odor finally clears.

42 Tina { 10.21.09 at 9:37 pm }

Lol thats horrible to just vacuum them up!

43 Jim { 10.21.09 at 5:38 pm }

I live in east stroudsburg pennsylvania and my house,outside and in, is infested. I’ve never seen so many at one time like this.

44 barbara byerline { 10.20.09 at 3:42 pm }

thank you for the info I have found that this bugs do bite. I live in the country and this is the first for me to see them fly around like this , Ive had them in my gardens but this is so bad you cant even go outside. thank you again

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