Lady beetles invade the community

Many Lincoln County residents are reporting lady beetles congregating on the outside of their homes.

“Due to environmental factors, we seem to have more this year,” said David Qualls, Lincoln County extension agent and county director.

The Asian Lady Beetle normally hibernates in rocks and bluffs, unlike the native lady beetles that hibernate in the ground.

“Once they get inside the crevices between your walls, it’s difficult to get chemicals to them to control them,” Qualls stated.

Each warm day more beetles will “wake up” and make their way into the living space, thinking it’s a warm spring day, Qualls explained. They don’t reproduce or eat in your home, just hibernate there.

The best control is before they enter, he said. Seal and caulk any crevices, tighten storm doors and fix screens.

“The first cold days of fall they will congregate on a sunny exterior wall, making their plans to enter your house,” said Qualls.

Beetles can be sprayed with permethrin, lambda cyhalothrin, cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, cypermethrin or tralomethrin on the side of the house before they enter. Sevin, however, won’t kill them, since it is a stomach poison and they aren’t eating. Sevin does kill them in the garden as they eat aphids with Sevin on them.

It is legal and acceptable to kill the beetles, since they are  house pests and there are plenty of beetles left, Qualls said.

Asian Lady beetles were introduced as a beneficial insect years ago to control aphids. They were never introduced in Tennessee, but they were in nearby Georgia in 1949, Qualls said. They are also sometimes accidentally brought into the U.S. in shopping products.

If you would like more information, the extension office has a fact sheet with details. Visit the office at 208 Davidson Street East, Fayetteville.

Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm