Seeing Ladybugs? What Does It Mean?

Is your house being invaded by ladybugs this fall? We explain why.

Is your house being invaded by ladybugs? From time to time, many people write to us and ask: where do all the ladybugs come from?  They seem to be everywhere in the fall. Are they a sign of a harsh winter to come? Are they bringing good luck?

Ladybug Lore

While you may have heard the superstition that ladybugs bring good luck, they don’t seem to have any winter weather-predicting ability. There is no significance between the number of ladybugs and the upcoming winter forecast. Fall infestations of these beetles are more 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.

When ladybugs swarm expect a day that is warm."

As the nights cool, the bugs gravitate to warm places during the day (soaking up the sun’s rays on your house). They will do anything or go anyplace 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. And ladybugs are friends of a garden. They feed on insect eggs, small worms, aphids, and other pests. They can, however, 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? Vacuum.

Is it an Asian Lady Beetle or the American Ladybug?

Both look a lot alike and behave the same. There are a few ways to tell them apart:

Asian Lady Beetle: Has a very distinctive white “W” shape on its pronotum (the area between the head and body) Their bodies are usually orange or yellowish with black spots.

Asian Lady Beetle.

American Ladybug: Has a shiny black pronotum (the area between the head and body) with two tiny white circles. Bodies are a dark red with black spots.

Beetles - Ladybugs
American Ladybug.

Tell us: What are you seeing? Any “infestations” this fall?

This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Interested in becoming a guest author? Contact us to let us know!

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Sara

So many of those Asian Lady beetles in our house. They showed up late summer and early fall. They are still popping up in our house this snowy winter.

Amy galvan

I had flat card board box’s on my porch of my home. When I pulled them out they were hundreds of red and black spot lady bugs all together. I thought maybe they were breeding there

Bob King

They are enjoying the sun in New Braunfels, TX today.

Lowell White

Asian Ladybugs are here central Tx . Thornton Tx

Nancy Woods

Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. A gazillion American and Asian Ladybugs are everywhere. It is difficult to go out any door to the outside without getting swarmed by them. It is exceptionally warm today and will be again tomorrow, which means they will be out again. While very pretty, they are driving us crazy!

Denise Hinson

Hundreds of ladybugs out today. Also more yellow striped wasp out than I’ve seen all year! They’re everywhere!

Jennifer

My lady bugs are Asian I love them

Jackie

Maryland here! Tons flying about and crowding the front part of our house. I’ll have to see what type they are tomorrow!

Carol Townes

Warrenton N C Asian lady bugs every where , and they bite too.

Barbara

The entire front of the house is covered. Can’t even open the front door. It’s crazy how many there is.

Megan

Northeast Tennessee here. They are so bad I can’t open the door to go outside. Hundreds of thousands crawling all over the outside of the house and from inside, you can see thousands of them swarming in the air. It’s absolutely maddening.

kasey neill

Delaware here!!! tons of them everywhere lol but those old superstitions come from some where love an light!!

kathy

thousands of ladybugs at my house can’t open my front door, I live in Cleburne County Alabama

Susan Higgins

Wow, Kathy, we’d love to see that! If you take a picture, send it to us at [email protected], att: Susan

Lynda

Ladybug infestation. Today when I was at the little house on our property there was a major infestation of ladybugs, they were crawling all over the whole outside and I probably caught 20-30 of them inside the house as I was carrying in supplies. Crazy.

Terry Prater

We live in west liberty KY in the woods but I thought them stink bugs were bad but these ladybugs are just awful. I know they don’t hurt anything or smell bad but they are ridiculous here

dean Ohio

I live in Ohio and they’re bad I can barely open my door

Curtis

1000s of them on the house and windows outside, only a few got in when I had the windows open, I guess my screens aren’t that tight.

I’m in Central KY near Richmond.

Cynthia

I’ve already put 6 back outside today and it’s only 12:58 pm. We’re in Nashville TN

SHELLY IN NC

I AM IN MIDDLE NORTH CAROLINA AND IT WAS LIKE A CLOUD OF THEM CAME IN AND NOW ARE SWARMING EVERYTHING!!!! THERE ARE AT LEASE A FEW THOUSAND

Ann

I live in Dunbar Wv and I have a lot of ladybugs outside my house.

Lori

I’m seeing outside today in Wheatfield, NY a lot of Asian ladybugs on most of our Western & Southern facing windows and glass doors. Occasionally I see them inside. I haven’t seen red colored American ladybugs in a long time. Is there a reason why there are so many of one kind over another?

Jul

My mom had SOOOO MANY Asian beetles flying all around and were on the front of her house yesterday! We live in northeast Indiana.The front of her house faces the South and the sun was soooo warm! They were also getting in her house and garage! They seem to be Asian Beetles not American LadyBugs.

Last edited 7 months ago by Jul
Debbie

I have what seems to be hundreds of the Asian beetles in my backyard and on my house here in central Indiana today.

Julie

Hundreds outside today in Detroit, MI. Swarm so bad I could not sit outside with the dogs, and at least a dozen came into the house.

Lori

I’m seeing outside today in Wheatfield, NY a lot of Asian ladybugs on most of our Western & Southern facing windows and glass doors. Occasionally I see them inside. As others suggested, I will start vacuuming them.

Valerie

There are thousands out today in Cobden Il. And yes it is warm and sunny today. I can’t sit out here their so bad.

Liz

Very few coming out this year; none coming out in the room where I launched the “vacuum campaign” llast year, as soon as I saw them emerging and kept up with the “vacuum campaign” on a daily basis. These Asian beetles are emerging in the Mountain Lakes region of West Virginia, rural and suburban areas.

Bush Diane

At our Riverhouse in the Florida panhandle, we arrived to find the Asian beetles invading ! I had read that putting a dryer sheet in your shirt would ward off some pests, so I took and cut several in to three sections and placed them in the South facing windows. That afternoon the only things we saw were dead beetles.
So now there are strips left in each window and door facing the south. By the way, these little buggers bite! Hope this helps

Linda

Just got home and all over my mobile there is Lady bugs, Asian lady bugs

Linda

Lady bugs in Maine, I see today Asian lady bugs, central Maine

MCKrebs

Once read an article that these originally were dropped out of planes over crops to control aphids but are now, not only , outta control, but the air drop seems to contain other pests besides ladybugs (type unknown, not deliberate).

Steph

Im actually looking for an article of when they dropped them from planes in Ontario where I live. I remember seeing them covering the underside of the roof when they came…I just dont remember what year that was and particularly what was all happening to the crops. My dad is a farmer…would be cool to find a solid article on it on Ontario only.

Gwen Lyda

I live in Tn. They are horrible little bugs,Asian or American and, yes I believe they were brought here by the USDA. I used an exterminator,it helped Greatly! It’s late October 2020 and I have not seen them yet this year!! Wish me luck

GW

I live in Kentucky, they swarm here around late October. Some days I use a handheld Dyson vacuum sucking up hundreds a day inside the home. No exaggeration, I kept a running tally. Spending 5mins going to each window approx. 5-10x a day and persists off/on from October-March. Spent hundreds on sealing up home and exterminators. Tried everything to put a dent in the numbers. I didn’t think it could get much worse but now we have brown marmorated stink bugs too which just started last year. Good luck y’all!

JR

I live in Hinckley, MN (about half way between Duluth and Minneapolis), Every fall about early October or so I get thousands of Asian Beetles inside the garage here are a few things I have tried.

1) Used a professional exterminator- cost about $300, didn’t really seem to help much.

2) Sealed up cracks and crevices and applied the same products as the professional exterminator- seemed to be less beetles around. (but could have been a “bad” year for the beetles and was coincidental that the products worked. (sort of).

The beetles seem to get inside and just die -usually just see them clinging to the garage door or trim around the garage doors, never really see too many living beetles
inside. I do vacuum them up with a HEPA vacuum cleaner.

From what I read about Asian Beetles they are very difficult to completely eliminate; as you already are aware!

They secrete a pheromone that attracts other beetles and will keep coming back year after year once they found a good place to overwinter they seem to be attracted to south facing or southwest facing structures with contrasting light-dark surfaces and before fall when they swarm they are living on the underside of leaves and soybean plants.

The product I use to control them is Bifenthrin I/T about one ounce to a gallon of water in a pump up sprayer, I go around all the windows and doors, under eaves, window wells,foundation. It is non-staining and safe around pets after it has COMPLETELY DRIED. It mimics the chrysanthemum chemical pyrethrin and effects the insects nervous system resulting in repeated and extended nerve firings.

It is NOT a quick knockdown insecticide.

September is about the best time to apply it seems- probably will not completely eradicate them but should definitely reduce there numbers.

What I do get is piles of dead beetles outside of the garage/house.

John

Susan Higgins

Thanks for sharing the info! Glad you found a solution that worked for you.

Nicholette

Get a liZard

john

little bugs:( don’t kill them. they have a purpose in life, to kill the pest in your plants:)

Harriet

You can have the ones I have in Georgia. I’ll mail them to you LOL

Evelyn Jones

I have been using essential oils,: eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea oil in water. I place 5 drops of each in a spray bottle. I spray around my doors and windows on the outside and mist the window sill on inside. This has worked for me. I also put essential oil in diffuser and let it premeate my house.

Brad

Spray…Demand CS

Roberta

They do not like vinegar . if you spray bottle vinegar at them it will exphyxiate them.

Truth

We should catch all that we can and mail them back to the USDA’s main oftice…really! They and the FDA like most government agencies decisions are ignorant and not well thought out.
I see that Daddy Longleg spiders they eat them!
I capture mine in plastic cups with a mesh top secured with a rubber band. Going to take them to a far away garden from here or call a nursery to see if they want them.
Maybe we need to sue The USDA for importing these and those horrible Noseeums here to control fire ants from Costa Rica.I would rather have the fireants at least you can see them.
Forget suing pharmaceutical companies for drugs sue the FDA for approving them.
The government doesn’t care about us.Please everyone cal your congressmen and complain. Inundate their phones w calls to be sure they don’t kill us with a chemical now trying to get rid of these. Not to mention the Chemtrails that stripe the skies everyday all over the world that is a clandestine operation. If we could sue these organizations for making decisions like this that puts us in danger they will need to stop. They really think we are stupid and do see what they are doing….such evil and darkness, everything is out of balance. Maybe their decisions are made ignorantly but you can bet the bottom line is always the money.
Peace can only be found within. What happens outside of us those making these decisons will receive back what they are doing to harm us. This life is too short to deal with these things. Love always wins.

Alexis

The orange lady bugs bite! I always liked the little things until one night i was at my friends house and woke up to something “pinching me” (bitting me) when i woke up i slapped my neck and it was an orange lady bug. I no longer think they are cute, nice little bugs! I hate them now and are always afraid they are going to bite me again.

Priscilla M. Briggs

I thought I was getting information on lady bugs. You know…those cute little orange beetles with black spots? They are my favorite kind of bug and I HATE bugs! Since when do lady bugs bite and stink? I used to look forward to MARCH (not October) for these creatures to hatch and make their way into my bathroom and bedroom. It was a sign that Spring was coming and everything was new and alive!

Susan Higgins

Priscilla M. Briggs: It sounds like you have Asian Lady Beetles, which have a defensive odor it secretes when under attack.

Jeff Briggs

Got them at my house too on lake bistinaeu

Pj seals

Have you not been reading, the orange ones are not ladybugs, they’re the orange Asian beetles, ladybugs are red with black spots

Stephen L Schroeder

When it comes time to sell your home with this Asian ladybug problem, I have bad news for all you folks, there is not one real estate company, that will list your home if you decide on selling it. In short your home value is almost worthless and you might be “stuck” where you are now living with this Asian Beetle pest. Write your Congressman and have him/her address this problem of Asian Beetles in your area. Maybe something can be worked out by going this route. This is the BEST way of handling this problem of Ladybug infestation, due to the U.S.D.A. allowing these to be released into our country.

Chirpie

I am in KS, there are hundreds of these things in my house and outside too! I went through every room in the house vacuuming with the shop vac, got every bug I could find. Emptied the vacuum outside to make sure they don’t crawl out back into the house. Later, still more seem to come out of nowhere on the house! I have sealed every crack, hole, gap I could find, especially around the windows, but cannot find where they are coming in! It is like they can go through walls or something magically.

I have sucked up many colors pf these bugs: orange, yellow, an almost green color, red, brownish, and every shade in between these. Some have lots of well defined spots, some faded looking, some have no visible spots. They all fly and crawl around just the same, are the same size and shape, just all painted different. They are interesting, but it is getting old having them march around, fly a bit and die, falling on the floor. I vacuum way too much for having no carpeting in the house! Arrgh!

Ben

D-fense SC
I hate spraying chemicals on my house but this is the ultimate ladybeetle killer. Trust me, it solved all my ladybug problems. Dead before they can mange to crawl in your house..

gary

the “ladybug” invasion is not what many think..it is not the signs of something you’ll find in the farmer’s almanac, the invasion is actually Asian Beetles which were intentionally imported by our government to feed on soybean mites, when the bean fields are cleared they search out new food and new places to live, (especially with the onset of cold weather). The first years of this invasion was bad, they bit, they stunk, they were thick enough in our house they set the smoke detector off. They have mated with ladybugs and are now kind of a hybrid, they don’t bite as much, or stink as bad, but they are in our house all year long. Finding a natural solution to a problem is fine, but these things are a pest that we will probably never get rid of, maybe they do a great job for the farmers, but the public should have been consulted before the government shipped these bastards here.

Elaine Bowman

we even get them in our camper! last year over 250 oh these little buggers.. vacuumed the house and the camper numerous times.. and yes they are here right now..never knew they bit though.. but they do sometimes smell like a potato… just sayin.

unclebuck

But I also read that there are more of the Asian Tiger Beetle than the Ladybug?????

Sheila

They got in our country house last year. It was our first experience with these bugs. We went for a visit there and got there very late and thought oh well we will deal with them in the morning since we were so tired from the drive. That was the wrong thing to do. We turned out the light to go to sleep and as soon as we did one flew down and went right into my husbands ear! He jumped up and was swatting at his ear. I looked in there and there it was. One of those beetles. We thought we were going to have to go to the ER to get it out. They directed me to a nurse hotline and she told me to have him turn the ear that had the beetle in it up and shine a flashlight on his ear. The bugs always crawl up! Don’t kill them if they get in your ear or that’s another fiasco! I was so thankful when I saw it crawl out of his ear! Just thought I would let everyone know just in case this ever happens to you! We eventually got to sleep at 3:00 am. Ha!

penny

i find if you clean up your leaves before winter around the house the next year you won’t have as many.

Viki

Trying to stain the logs on our home has been almost impossible. Buying time against cold weather coming in too. Frustrated with these buggers. Sprayed myself with bug spray, didn’t make any difference, awful smelling stuff but they land on me anyway. Not too safe on a ladder. Told my husband that if I fell and knocked myself out they would swarm and eat me. Zombie beetles, ladybugs, whatever…

BiC

Beetle traps did not work for me, so I used bug spray on the outside of my home- Ortho Home Defense Max Insect Killer. It helped. I sprayed the following: front door, around windows, garage door, porch columns, porch ceiling, fascia… basically the porch in its entirety and around all windows and doors. Be aware of the direction of the wind so it does not come back at you. Be aware if you have pets that lounge on the porch. If you can safely reach them, I would advise spraying any attic vents.

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