Ladybugs of doom
Ah, ladybugs. Usually the darlings of the insect world next to butterflies, these endearingly spotted bugs have suddenly become the enemy in my home.
Normally, I’m a big fan of ladybugs. They don’t eat my plants. They do eat other bugs (aphids) that eat my plants, and plus, they’re cute. We wouldn’t dress babies up as ladybugs for Halloween if they weren’t cute.
Nevertheless, I find my home, and especially my bedroom, absolutely overwhelmed with the bright spotted little insects this fall. Now instead of enjoying these bugs as friendly garden neighbors outside, I’m coming to see them as a huge pest inside.
They’re everywhere. They’re on the floor, on the furniture, on the windows, and I even had one crawling on my pillow this morning. I know they are basically harmless, but having any sort of bug crawling on me at night is not conducive to a good night’s sleep.
I’ve done a little research, and apparently rather than dying off in the winter like the American red ladybugs do, the Asian orange-colored version of the ladybug hibernates in winter, which means they’re looking for a nice, warm, cozy house where they can hang out during the cold months.
Evidently, my house fits the bill.
To make matters worse, once one of the little buggers makes it inside and feels good about it’s new hibernation digs, it releases pheromones, attracting others of its kind. Basically, those sneaky bugs are putting out the welcome mat for yet more bugs to come join the party.
And they stink! I don’t know if it’s the pheromones or what, but these tiny bugs emit a gross grassy (but not in a good way) stench.
AND even if you succeed in getting rid of these spotted friends turned foes this season, those pheromones stick around — meaning next year’s ladybug crop will think your house is a great place to crash, too.
So far, I’ve just been vacuuming them up when I have some time, but the next day, little ladybug carcasses (or are they sleeping?) are littering my floors again.
I’m waiting to wake up one morning to find my dog being held hostage by hundreds of ladybugs demanding I abandon the house to them for the winter.
I’m thinking about it.
In the meantime, I’m going to work on a more official story for the paper about the deal with these ladybugs and what people can do about it. Any suggestions?