Ladybugs are a red and black insect also known as:
- lady beetles
- Asian lady beetles
- lady flies
They help get rid of other insects, especially aphids, in gardens and on trees.
In general, that means ladybugs are beneficial to humans, but they can become a nuisance as the weather turns colder.
In the fall, they start to swarm and look for a warm, dry place to spend the winter. These swarms can crawl through small openings in your house, leading to an infestation.
While these infestations are harmless, you probably still want to get rid of them.
Ladybugs are harmless to most humans. They don’t sting, and while they may occasionally bite, their bites don’t cause serious injury or spread disease. They usually feel more like a pinch than a true bite.
However, it’s possible to be allergic to ladybugs.
These allergies can cause:
Ladybug allergies usually get worse in fall and winter, when ladybugs start to swarm.
Although ladybugs won’t hurt you, they can cause property issues.
When ladybugs get stressed, they secrete blood from the joints in their legs. It’s a process called reflex bleeding. The blood is harmless to humans.
However, it has an unpleasant smell and can cause orange stains on your:
Despite being harmless, ladybug swarms are probably not something you want in your house. There are a variety of options to remove them.
One way is to sweep or vacuum up the ladybugs. Afterward, put them outside in an area away from your house. Vacuuming is less likely to cause reflex bleeding.
Other options include using:
- Diatomaceous earth, which is soft sedimentary earth that’s a type of silica and used as a natural pesticide. It will cause ladybugs to dry out and die.
- Citronella or citrus oil, which are oils that can remove ladybugs’ scent from your home. This keeps other ladybugs from being attracted to pheromones released by the first ones in your house and can therefore prevent a swarm.
- Mums, which are flowers that contain a chemical that kills insects but is safe for other animals. Plant them around your home or put some in vases inside your home.
- Cloves and bay leaves, which are spices that repel ladybugs. You can put them inside or outside your home.
- Light traps, which are traps use a bright light to draw ladybugs in and trap them. You can then safely remove them from your home.
- Lavender, which is a flowering plant that repels ladybugs. You can plant it around your home.
You can use insecticides inside your home. However, this does come with health risks for both people and animals.
That’s why the Environmental Protection Agency recommends avoiding indoor chemical insecticide use whenever possible.
Exposure to insecticides inside your home can cause:
- damage to your liver, kidneys, or endocrine system with chronic exposure
If you decide to use chemical insecticides inside your home to get rid of ladybug swarms, be sure to take precautions to avoid health risks. These include:
- ventilating the area well after application
- keeping animals out of the treated area
- using only the recommended amount of insecticide
- mixing or diluting the insecticide outside
- dispose of any unneeded insecticides as soon as possible, according to the instructions
The best way to prevent ladybugs from swarming your home is to make sure there’s no way for them to get in.
- sealing all the cracks around your windows and doors
- installing screens over your roof vents
- making sure you don’t have any torn or damaged screens on your windows
You can also use insecticides around the outside of your house to repel ladybugs by:
- spreading them yourself
- calling a professional if you still have issues with ladybug swarms
Ladybugs are harmless but can still be a nuisance if they swarm in your home. If they do, try removing them with a vacuum or using natural methods of repelling them instead of chemical insecticides.
But the best way to deal with ladybug swarms is to prevent them in the first place by making sure your house is totally sealed.