They are cute. They have tons of cartoons about them. They are a beneficial insect that the U.S. government introduced to control other pests. That is the dilemma with this insect, we bring it to the U.S. to be beneficial & it then becomes a pest! The problem is that even a beneficial insect can become a pest when it interferes with our quality of life by invading our living-working spaces. The New England Journal of Medicine recognizes that lady beetles can exasperate allergy and asthma conditions and cause eye irritations.
This pest is prevalent in the summer months and many people will see large numbers of larval stages on foliage then the adult stage will invade structures in early fall. Studies have shown that they are attracted to light colors in addition to lights. Buildings that favor these conditions will see more activity than normal. In the fall large numbers of these insects will invade structures with particular emphasis on the sunny side and look to over-winter. They will enter structures through any void available from the roof to ground level.
Besides being a nuisance, the beetles emit an acrid odor and can stain surfaces with their yellowish secretions when disturbed. This secretion & odor is a defense mechanism against predators. They do not transmit diseases per se but they do actually bite or pinch but it is seldom serious.
What do I do to get rid of them? When there is a health concern EHS can perform successful exterior treatments in the fall and spring to drop population numbers. Typically a two season application pattern works best. The most ideal control method is to exclude them out using caulking on any gaps and voids with particular emphasis on the sunny side of the structure. This is much easier said than done as you must exclude all voids from the roof to the ground. Exclusion should be done in July-August right before the over-wintering process begins. Even with a treatment & exclusion you may see some insects so you must accept suppression Vs elimination as these pests come from the millions of trees around your property. You can also manually remove them from structures by using a hose on the exterior and vacuum on the interior. Do not use a broom due to the staining risk.
Call 888.PEST.MGMT or email email@example.com so EHS can tailor a program to fit your needs.