They’re back – Asian lady beetles
Asian Lady Beetles were imported from Asia by USDA to control aphids in pecan trees in the southern US. Importation and release started in 1916 and continued until the early 1980’s. No releases were ever made in South Dakota. Asian Lady Beetles have now become a colorful unwelcome sign of fall in South Dakota just like Boxelder bugs were before.
Asian Lady Beetles came to South Dakota after the Soybean Aphids came to the state. Besides Soybean Aphids they also feed on green bugs, wheat and pea aphids and corn leaf aphids on corn.
The Asian Lady Beetles are considered a beneficial insect; however, they can become a nuisance around the house. They usually start to show up in the house on warm days with no wind right after we have had our first cold snap.
Asian Lady Beetles found indoors can be collected using a vacuum cleaner or broom and dustpan. Beetles can then be disposed of where they will not be able to get back into the house again.
In the long run preventing entry into homes may be the best way of controlling Asian Lady Beetles and other insects such as Boxelder bugs and crickets. Mend broken screens or other places that can provide an entry point. There are no insecticides labeled for use on Asian Lady Beetles. However, there are several labels for residual control of crickets and Boxelder bugs. The products Tempo and Demon are a couple of examples that have worked well in the past on these bugs. When spraying make sure to spray in all areas where the bugs may enter such as along foundations, around windows, or in any air exchange areas that may have openings. This will not control all of the insects but should reduce the number of them. When you start to spray, spray first in an out of the way area to insure that the spray does not stain the paint on the house.