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How to Get Rid of Asian Beetles In Your Garden
August 6, 2022

How to Get Rid of Asian Beetles In Your Garden

The most identifiable form of Asian beetle is what is often called the “ladybug,” in the west, and of course, they are benign. But there is some Asian beetle infestations that can cause serious damage to gardens and homes. The key is to be able to identify them so you can then prevent and rid yourself of them in the long run.

asian lady beetles crawling on garden plants

Ladybugs or Asian Lady Beetles?

Asian lady beetles (Harmonia axyridis) are often mistaken for ladybugs or "ladybird beetles." Asian lady beetles are slightly larger than most native ladybug species and can range in color from light tan to deep red, with or without black spots on the wing covers. Asian lady beetles also have a small mark shaped like an "M" or a "W" just behind the head. Asian lady beetles were introduced into the United States in 1916 to help control aphids and other destructive plant pests.

Asian lady beetles are found throughout the eastern, central, and southern United States. It is important to know how to identify Asian lady beetles because they can become a nuisance if they invade your home in large numbers.

What do Asian Beetles eat?

Asian lady beetles are predators and will consume many different types of soft-bodied insects including:

  • Aphids
  • Mealybugs
  • Scale insects
  • Thrips

While Asian lady beetles are considered beneficial when they're outdoors consuming plant pests, the opposite can cause you a lot of trouble. If they manage to find their way into your home, Asian lady beetles can become a real nuisance. Asian lady beetles will congregate in large numbers on the sunny side of your house and can easily find their way inside through small cracks and crevices.

Are lady beetles destructive?

Not all Asian beetles are types that can tear up gardens including the Byrony Ladybird, for example. These insects are orange with the exception that they have eleven spots on them. Others include the Mexican Beat Beetle, the Squash Beetle, and certain types of the Potato Ladybird.

These insects will chew on leaves in gardens, but they will also eat different vegetables and fruits as well. In particular, the Potato Ladybird variant with the 28 spots, will eat potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, zucchinis, and many other vegetables. It’s important to recognize and get rid of these pests if you are growing vegetables in your garden.

Beyond it being a problem for your garden and lawn, they can also be a problem for your home. This is because these insects will seek to winter somewhere warm. This will often be your house if you’re not careful. Hundreds of the insects can end up all over your house for this reason if they are inhabiting your garden during the warmer months.

Are they Harmful to Pets?

People are concerned about Asian lady beetles because they're not sure if they're harmful to pets. While Asian lady beetles aren't poisonous, they can cause irritation if your pet comes into contact with them. 

If you think your pet has been exposed to Asian lady beetles, it's important to wash the area with soap and water as soon as possible. You should also keep an eye on your pet for any signs of irritation, such as excessive scratching.

How to get rid of Asian beetles

It’s not just one approach that is likely to be effective when it comes to getting rid of these beetles. You’re going to have to try a few different ones because each method is going to have different strengths and weaknesses. Some of the best methods to get rid of Asian Beetles are:

  • Using a Vacuum
    Most Asian lady beetles aren’t actually trying to grow in your house. They don’t even want to eat anything there most of the time. Everything they want tends to be outside. Instead, what they want is just to live in your house until it gets warm again. But, if you don’t want hundreds of them doing that, then vacuuming constantly is going to be a good bet to prevent this from happening. You need to dispose of them quickly though, or they will just find their way back out of the vacuum bags.
  • Build Special Dwellings
    If you want to avoid killing the ladybug Asian beetles, then you can actually just set up little special places for the beetles to spend the winter. That way, the benign ones will still roam through your garden, but they will have someplace to go in the winter that’s not your house. You can usually buy these from a professional, and they will give a safe place for the beetles away from the elements without moving into your home.
  • Lethal Traps
    It’s also possible to get traps that use special pheromones to bring beetles in, and this is where they will fall into the water where they drown. If you have beetles that are more destructive and want to just get rid of them permanently, this can be an effective solution.
  • Plant Mums
    Another old trick for getting rid of these beetles is to plant something called a mum. These are special flowers that ladybugs and Asian beetles stay away from. For whatever reason, they are repelled by these flowers, so if you plant them in and right around your home, the beetles will naturally stay away from them.

What smells deter Asian beetles?

If you’re looking for solutions that don’t involve using harsh chemicals, there are a number of strong options. A few of these natural ways include:

  • Citronella-Lady beetles are not fond of anything with citrus or citronella scent in it. So, if you fill the air with this scent, the bugs will stay away. You can make a spray in order to put the scent around areas of your house where the bugs have become a problem.
  • Bay Leaves-Asian beetles will often avoid the scent coming from bay leaves. The recommendation is to put these leaves in concentrated pouches where the scent coming from them will be the strongest. Then you can leave them in areas you want to keep free of the beetles.
  • Peppermint– This essential oil can often be effective at repelling insects. They will generally move away from it as it can even serve as a contact poison that functions as a nerve agent.
  • Cloves-If you use whole cloves, you can create a scent in the air that will repel Asian beetles. They don’t like this scent either and they will tend to avoid it. This means that you can disperse them if you put the cloves in areas that are highly frequented by the beetles, and you can even use them to discourage them from entering your house in the first place if you put it near window sills.

Other options include avoiding bright colors that attract the beetles and instead of using dark colors in your home or simply sealing the entrances to your home. If you seal up possible holes and leaks around your windows and doors, then the beetles won’t be able to get into your home in the first place.

For more information about identifying and eliminating pests like Asian lady beetles and many other kinds besides, let Miller Pest & Termite be your experts!

What to expect with professional Asian beetle control

Our pest control services in Kansas City and the surrounding areas are here to help you whether you have a big or large building for us to inspect. If there are any problems we'll let you know and you can take care of them ASAP. We don't require you to move around anything since we mostly check the exterior of a home for issues.

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