Asian Lady Beetles & Box Elder Bugs
Asian Lady Beetle
The Asian Lady Beetle is common throughout most of the United States and parts of Canada. This is one of a very large family of beetles known as Coccinellidae. Many people call these beetles Ladybugs. Asian Lady Beetles are easy to recognize. They are small, round-to-oval insects. Their size ranges from 1/4" to 3/8". They are usually red or orange, but can be yellow, brown, or black. Some species have spots. There are 475 species of Coccinellidae in the U.S. and Canada. All but a few species are beneficial insects. Plant specialists imported several species of lady beetles into the United States to control crop pests. The adults and larvae of most lady beetles are predators of aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects. In the fall Asian Lady Beetles gather in large numbers on the outside of light-colored houses. As they gather on the house, some find cracks or holes. They use these holes to get inside. Some lady beetles enter quiet places like the attic. They hibernate through the winter and become active again in spring. The vacuum cleaner is the simplest way to remove the lady beetles that get into the home. They do not bite or sting. They do not reproduce inside the home. During the summer, homeowners can prevent many lady beetle problems. Inspect the outside of the house carefully. Caulk cracks around windows and doors. Check the attic, roof, and overhang vents. Repair any damaged screens. Check the weather-strip on all exterior doors. Repair any damaged window screens. Inside the home, patch any holes that lead into the attic. Insecticide application on the outside of the home will act as a barrier. It will repel many of the pests that gather on the home and keep them from entering. The application should begin in the late summer. Because of temperature and other factors, the barrier will need to be re-applied periodically. The pest control professional has the equipment to make this treatment.
Box Elder Bug
Box Elder Bugs are about ½" long. They are black with red lines on their back and have flat bodies. Box Elder Bugs do not nest indoors year-round. Rather, they make their homes in Box Elder, Maple, and Ash trees during warmer seasons and migrate into buildings and homes to find shelter for the winter. Adult bugs live and breed on the leaves of Box Elder trees, laying their eggs in spring. They feed on soft parts of Box Elder trees, including leaves, flowers and new twigs. They also extract juices, causing minimal to substantial damage to their host tree. The eggs of Box Elder Bugs are reddish-brown in color, allowing them to stay well hidden in the bark of the host tree. After a few days, the eggs hatch into red and gray nymphs, which eventually mature and begin the breeding process again. Mature Box Elder Bugs are more easily visible against their host trees, and can be found gathering in large numbers on branches and boughs. Concentrations will be heaviest in areas receiving sufficient sunlight. After summer, Box Elder Bugs begin to migrate indoors, seeking shelter from the cold. They enter through small cracks and crevices within the building, and remain inside, hibernating, through fall and winter. They emerge when heat sources within the building are high and can be located in the warmest areas of a structure's walls. While they do not cause damage to buildings, their droppings are unsightly and leave stains on furniture and linens. To prevent Box Elder Bug nests within your home, remove any Box Elder trees within close proximity and seal all cracks and crevices on the outside of the structure. These insects can also enter through windows and doors; ensure that these close properly and utilize screen doors to keep Box Elder Bugs from entering.