Every spring and fall, ladybugs become a topic of conversation. This is because they can amass by the hundreds on the walls, doors and windows of our homes. Some of them even find their way indoors. Why are they there, and how do we get rid of them?
The species of this beetle that is most common in North America today first appeared in Canada in 1994. Imported from Asia via the United States, these ladybugs were extremely effective at eliminating aphids and other pests from gardens and fields. Since they had no predators, they have since multiplied quickly and out-competed the species native to Canada.
Ladybugs aggregate around our homes for one reason: seeking warmth. Unable to tolerate the cold, they often find their way indoors. However, don’t worry: during the winter, they hibernate, don’t eat and don’t reproduce. That said, while their presence is not harmful to humans, it can be annoying all the same.
How do you get rid of them?
Unfortunately, the options in this regard are limited. Here are some tips for helping to keep them from invading your home:
- In the fall, remove your screens promptly.
- Reinstall your screens promptly in the spring.
- Repair, seal and caulk all holes and cracks around your house.
- Collect ladybugs using a vacuum cleaner and release them outdoors.
- Check all vents and ducts.
- Consult an exterminator.
Avoid crushing them. Ladybugs defend themselves by secreting an unpleasant substance that can leave stains. This odour may also attract even more ladybugs!
Dark-coloured exterior walls appear to help keep ladybugs away. The scent of aromatic plants such as mint, basil or cilantro, among others, may also help to repel them, so consider positioning these plants near access points.
One thing we do know for sure is that ladybugs are here to stay! We are therefore better off learning to live with them, as they will continue to return year after year. Perhaps opting for dark-coloured door and window products may help? Regardless, this is a major trend at the moment, and our paint has a lifetime warranty!