This time of year, I always notice ladybugs trying to get into my house and other buildings. In fact, there is one flying around in here right now! Why are they doing this? Read the following Q&As from "The Ladybug Lady" to find out:
Q. Why do ladybugs come into my house in the winter time?
A. Ladybugs are attracted to the light colored houses. Especially, homes that have a clear southwestern sun exposure. Older homes tend to experience more problem with aggregations due to lack of adequate insulation. The ladybugs come in through small cracks around windows, door ways and under clap boards. They want to hibernate in a warm, comfortable spot over the cold months of winter. Ladybugs gather in groups when they hibernate, so if you see one, you can be sure more will follow. The best way to keep them out is to repair damaged clap boards, window and door trim and to caulk small cracks.
Q. Once the ladybugs are in my house, will they eat anything?
A. No. Ladybugs don't eat fabric, plants, paper or any other household items. They like to eat APHIDS. Aphids are very small, but very destructive pest that feed on plants. (If you have rose bushes, you have probably seen aphids.) Ladybugs, while trying to hibernate in your house, live off of their own body fats. They also prefer a little humidity, but our homes are usually not very humid during the winter. In fact, they are rather dry causing most of your ladybug guests to die from dehydration. Occasionally, you might witness a ladybug in your bathroom getting a drink of water. Now, that's a smart lady!
Q. How can I get them out of my house?
A. If you don't have a lot, just leave them. They will leave when spring arrives. Disturbing them will only cause them to stress out leaving yellow markings on your walls. The yellow stuff is not waste matter, but rather, their blood. Ladybugs release a small amount of their blood which is yellow and smells, when they sense danger. Some people have said that it does stain on light colored surfaces.
Q. But, I really want the ladybugs out of my house!
A. Use a "shop vacuum". This type of vacuum is easy to use for collect ladybugs. When using this to vacuum up ladybugs, use a clean bag or pad the bottom with a cloth. After all is clean, release the unwelcome guests outside.
Q. Is there anything else I can use to get the ladybugs out of my house?
A. Yes. There is a product called a Ladybug Black Light Trap. It uses radiating black light to attract and contain the ladybugs.