How to Get Rid of Asian Beetles
Asian beetles can be a boon to gardeners, but they are unwelcome guests inside the house. Here’s how to get rid of Asian beetles in your home.
Have you started noticing orange ladybugs congregating around windows in your home or swarming in the attic? These are bugs that look like ladybugs, but aren’t. Based on their color and behavior, they are likely Asian lady beetles. Asian beetles (also called Chinese beetles or Asian ladybugs) are not native to North America, but migrated from Asia, as the name suggests. They are now an invasive species in many regions of the U.S. Most gardeners don’t mind the insects outdoors as they eat harmful bugs, such as aphids. But Asian beetles exhibit a behavior called “overwintering” meaning they seek warm, dry places for shelter when temperatures drop. Your home may be an ideal place for lady beetles to overwinter if they can get inside. While Asian lady beetles are not dangerous to humans, most homeowners prefer to remove these uninvited guests from their home as soon as possible. Read on for some pointers on how to get rid of Asian beetles.
Time required: 1 to 2 hours
Estimated cost: $15 to $35, or $111 to $261 for professional pest control
Before You Begin…
It’s easy to mistake these bugs that look like ladybugs for their friendly, cute cousins. But Asian beetles have a reputation for being more aggressive than regular ladybugs. When threatened, they may release a foul-smelling yellow fluid or even bite. While their bites are not venomous or especially painful, it may be prudent to wear gloves when dealing with Asian lady beetles.
Also, keep in mind that if you see one Asian lady beetle in your home, there are probably many more. These insects follow the smell of pheromones secreted by fellow Asian beetles and will sometimes congregate in the thousands, so it could take more than one method to completely eradicate them.
Tips for How to Get Rid of Asian Beetles
- Eliminate the source of the beetles before removing them from the home.
- Place any trash bags containing beetles outside the house as soon as possible.
- Clean areas where Asian beetles have left pheromones with natural deterrents to avoid attracting more.
- Wear gloves to avoid bites or contact with fluid excretions.
- Avoid spraying chemical insecticides indoors.
STEP 1: Seal any gaps and repair any damaged window screens where Asian lady beetles may
enter the home.
If Asian lady beetles are already inside your home, that means they have found a viable entrance somewhere—and there is no use eradicating the insects indoors if more will be coming in after them. Try to retrace their path inside by inspecting the area where the beetles are congregating. Pay special attention to window frames and screens, gaps around doors, and vents. Keep in mind that there could be multiple points of entry, and it may be necessary to caulk around window frames or repair holes on the outside of the home to keep insects from getting in. If it isn’t possible to make permanent repairs right away, placing masking tape over holes or gaps will temporarily keep out the beetles.
STEP 2: Vacuum any Asian beetles with a HEPA-filter vacuum.
Once you are confident that no more beetles can get inside the house, it’s time to take care of the indoor infestation. Some homeowners use a broom to sweep up the beetles and deposit them outside. But when Asian beetles are threatened, they release a smelly fluid that can stain light-colored materials. To avoid this, a more effective solution is to vacuum the beetles up with a HEPA-filter vacuum. Dispose of the vacuum bag or empty the filter immediately and take out the trash.
Another common trick is placing a pair of pantyhose inside the vacuum cleaner wand and securing it with a rubber band on the outside. When the bugs are sucked up by the vacuum, tie up the pantyhose to keep them trapped inside.
STEP 3: Set up insect light traps in any dark areas.
To ensure that no more Asian lady beetles find their way inside the home, it may be prudent to set up light traps outside of the house. Insects that are attracted to the light emitted by the trap will be “zapped” on impact as soon as they touch it. Traps will need to be placed under shelter from rain and in areas where they won’t be touched by people or animals. Traps should also be placed in a dark area without a competing light source so that the beetles are more likely to approach the trap. Expect to also catch other insects like regular ladybugs, Japanese beetles, moths, or crane flies that are attracted to light.
STEP 4: Use insecticide spray to kill any Asian beetles.
Insecticide can be used as another line of defense against Asian lady beetles. Chemical insecticides are most useful when applied to the outside of the home to discourage the beetles from coming inside. Apply insecticide to gaps in the foundation or doors and windows where beetles are likely to find cracks for entrance. It’s also wise to spray any trees or shrubs that are bordering your home. Avoid using insecticide indoors if possible, as it is less effective and can be hazardous to humans and pets. Some natural alternatives you can spray indoors are lemon juice and vinegar.
STEP 5: Contact a pest control professional.
If these methods do not rid you of your Asian beetle infestation, or you’d rather leave this unpleasant task to someone else, it may be best to call one of the best pest control companies. While not necessarily dangerous, Asian beetles can be more aggressive than other insects, making them challenging to remove. Pest control specialists have insight into lady beetles’ habits and seasonal behavior that will inform their strategy for removal. They can also advise you on how to keep them from coming back in the future.
If your home has been infested with Asian beetles, following the steps outlined above at least once should rid you of most of the insects. Be sure to use caution and wear gloves when handling or working near the beetles to avoid uncomfortable bites, especially if you could be allergic. The most effective way to ensure that your home stays free of Asian lady beetles is treatment by a pest control professional.
Asian lady beetles are a lesser-known species to most. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.
Q. Why is my house full of Asian beetles?
A warm house is an ideal place for asian beetles to “overwinter” or hibernate, and they tend to do this in large groups.
Q. What attracts Asian beetles?
Asian beetles are attracted to light—they can usually be found in areas that get lots of sunshine.
Q. Will lemon juice get rid of ladybugs?
Lemon juice can kill ladybugs, and the scent will cover up their unpleasant odor.
Q. What scent repels Asian beetles?
Citrus and citronella are often used as repellents for Asian beetles.
Q. What is a home remedy to get rid of ladybugs?
A common result for the search “how to get rid of ladybugs” is to spray white vinegar on plants, but this can have limited effectiveness. It’s more reliable to contact a pest control professional to get rid of ladybugs.
Q. What smell do Asian ladybugs hate?
The essential oils clove, camphor menthol, and citrus have strong scents that are repellent to an Asian ladybug.