What is an Asian ladybeetle?

Be on the lookout for Asian ladybeetles in the fall.

Asian ladybeetles are problematic because they are so difficult to identify. Although they look incredibly similar to common beetles, Asian ladybeetles can cause structural damage to buildings, ruin crops and even harm large mammals in certain cases. Though some species of beetles are harmless, the same can not be said for Asian ladybeetles. They are much more common in the fall months. 

Characteristics of Asian ladybeetles
These insects became common in North America during the late 80s and 90s, but were already known for appearances earlier in the 20th century. Interestingly, entomologists believe that Asian ladybeetles are originally from China, Russia, Japan and Korea (hence their name), according to the University of Kentucky. Researchers believe that larger populations of the bugs were introduced to the U.S. at shipping ports – an infested vessel likely brought a large population with it.

As far as appearances go, the beetles have an oval shape with a black head and spotted wings. Their bodies are usually colored within a spectrum from light orange to dark red, with accompanying black spots. One of the biggest reasons that the population of Asian ladybeetles has risen so dramatically in the U.S. is that they have no known natural predators in North America. In fact, only a few species of parasitic wasps and flies regularly hunt these insects. But if an Asian ladybeetle is attacked, it will secrete a horrible-smelling fluid that repels predators.

Threats posed by to people and pets
Although Asian ladybeetles aren't known for eating away at materials that make up buildings, large numbers of them can be unsightly. If the beetles manage to find a crack in your walls, you'll be left picking up the dried-up corpses. And according to Pennsylvania State University, removing dead Asian ladybeetles from your walls is no easy feat. Smell something funny around the beetle infestation? It's probably best you call a professional pest control company like Rudy's – the excretion has been known to cause allergic reactions in people. 

Asian ladybeetles have the potential to harm pets as well, according to the Weather Network. If you have a dog, for instance, Asian ladybeetles can latch onto the soft tissue inside its mouth. The beetles are likely to cause redness, swelling and discomfort inside your pet's mouth, but are usually easy to remove by hand.

Controlling the pests
Beetles found inside your home can be removed simply using a vacuum, according to the University of Minnesota. Just remember to empty the vacuum bag into a trash receptacle outside of your house! To prevent an infestation from ever occurring at your residence, inspect the outside of your place for cracks and other entry points. Then, use some caulk or wire mesh to seal them and you should be good to go.