Ladybugs are often seen as a bother, and they can be a big one once they are in your home. They are stinky; they leave stains behind and they gather in insanely large numbers and can be overwhelming to any homeowner who is dealing with them. How do ladybugs get into your house exactly?
In general, ladybugs typically get into your house by entering from:
- Cracks or crevices from doors and windows
- Open windows and doors
- Under doorways
- Vents and chimneys
- Cracks in walls from siding
- Cracks in foundation
Ladybugs can be helpful to have around in some cases, but just because they can be good, it does not mean you want them in your home! So, without further ado, here are some things you can do to help combat ladybugs getting into your house.
1. Cracks and Crevices Let Ladybugs In
Ladybugs are sneaky creatures, and since they are so tiny, they can get into your home in even the slightest of openings. They use their size to their advantage, so all the following ways ladybugs can get into your house only require a small opening.
If you have any sort of crack or crevice along the foundation and frame of a door or window, ladybugs can and will take it as an opportunity to enter your home.
Doors and windows also serve as a significant source of heat and light, so ladybugs are much more likely to flock to these locations. They are appealing and after they smother themselves on top of these spaces, chances are they will find any available opening.
More on how ladybugs get in through open doors and windows below.
2. Open Windows And Doors Invite Ladybugs In
Ladybugs want to come inside when it is chilly out, so primarily in the fall time is when they look for a comfy and cozy spot to run to. I know for me, fall is one of my favorite times to keep the doors or windows open when I’m cleaning to help air out the house, especially on those crisp afternoons.
This is like having an “OPEN” sign posted for ladybugs to come fill the vacancy. While it might be nice at the moment, once ladybugs take over your space, you might not be feeling as great about your choice to leave the door open.
So, make sure to keep your open doors and windows SHUT to keep ladybugs out.
3. Ladybugs Come In Under Doorways
The area under doors creates a drafty space for ladybugs to gain entry to your home.
Ladybugs love garage doors since there is usually some sort of gap between the ground and the door. Usually, it is a soft, easily manipulated piece of rubber they can squeeze themselves right under.
Make sure the seal around the bottom of your garage door is slammed shut. This will not only help with ladybugs, but other insects and pests as well!
4. Ladybugs crawl through Vents and Chimneys
As stated, ladybugs are drawn to heat, and what better place for heat to come out than a dryer vent or a chimney? If you use your chimney often and it has smoke in it, chances are ladybugs will not climb through while it’s being used because of the smoke.
However, they will come in at night and climb down the chimney like Santa Claus, but instead of bringing gifts, they are more of a grinch.
Dryer vents are another great one that a ladybug might crawl through because they kick out warm air when they are in use. Usually, they can come right into your laundry room through a dryer vent and laundry rooms are ideal places for them to stay because of how warm they are.
5. Ladybugs Burrow Under Siding
When a ladybug finds a spot to stay outside during the winter, they often burrow underneath the bark in a tree. House siding is an artificial version of tree bark and not something ladybugs are against using.
If they burrow in under your siding and notice a warm spot, like around a window or door or even near a vent, they will maneuver under the siding. They are hoping to find entry to a place warmer than the spot they are in now.
How To Remove Ladybugs From Your Home
Removing ladybugs is honestly not a hard job. Ladybugs do not mate or reproduce in the colder months when they are trying to get into your house, so if you can get rid of the ladybugs, you will get rid of them completely.
The University of Nebraska in Lancaster explains you should not, under any circumstance, squash a ladybug. Not only is it just not an effective method of removal, but you will also pay for it. When a ladybug is exterminated, it releases all of its defensive fluid and it will leave you stained and smelly.
Also, Penn State explains it is not a great idea to squash them because the scent of many ladybugs all releasing their defensive liquid attracts another bug called a carpet beetle. Carpet beetles are much harder to get rid of and they are far more of a nuisance than ladybugs, and you don’t want two pest problems back to back.
You may have some things in your pantry to deter ladybugs. Check out 9 Scents That Ladybugs Hate (And How To Use Them) to see what you can use!
Vacuum Up Ladybugs To Remove Them
This is by far the easiest, fastest, and most used option there is. When you see ladybugs, you can just get your vacuum cleaner, use the hose attachment and suck them all up.
The University of Nebraska in Lancaster says this is the most effective way you are going to have to get rid of a ladybug problem.
If you decide to go this route, is it suggested you make sure you throw out the garbage bag right away. Ladybugs will survive being sucked into a vacuum and if you leave the bag and just put the vacuum away, they will climb back out. Then you will have the problem all over again.
You can also use a broom if you don’t have a vacuum and sweep the ladybugs into a pile and then discard them in the trash and throw the trash out right after.
While this can be effective, you are much more likely to get the defensive liquid on them as well as to get bitten, so wear gloves if you use a broom.
This BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum is a great, cost-effective option for a vacuum if you need one. It is handheld and easy to maneuver to get ladybugs in all spaces, high and low, without lugging around a big vacuum cleaner.
Insecticides can get rid of ladybugs
While insecticides are frowned upon when getting rid of ladybugs, they are still an option. As always, if you are looking into using an insecticide or chemical to get rid of ladybugs near your house, we recommend you call a professional for best results.
If you are using an insecticide, Penn State recommends you use one with a synthetic pyrethroid or a neonicotinoid as the principal ingredient. These two active ingredients are the most valuable when getting rid of ladybugs.
You should only use insecticide for ladybugs outside, and once they are inside it is pretty much useless to use the insecticide in the home when you have easier options. If you use the insecticide outside, you can use it around places where a ladybug is more likely to get in, like around vents and windows.
Insecticides can be broken down by the elements, so it is important to get the timing right if you are using them. Rain or sunshine can put a damper on their effectiveness, so if you decide to use them, be sure to read the instructions thoroughly first.
UV Light Traps lure Ladybugs away
Not to be confused with a bug zapper, you can use a UV light to help persuade ladybugs out of your home or at least away from your home when they are trying to get inside.
You simply take the UV light and hang it away from any doors or windows so it is not competing with the lights from your home and ladybugs will fly right to it and away from your home.
The reason you do not want to use a zapper is again, because of the defensive fluid the ladybug gives off. It will attract those carpet beetles, which is something you do not want. We want all pests gone, not to swap out one for the next.
This UV Black Light Party Light is a fantastic choice because it is cost-effective and can be used for more than just ladybug control.
Ladybug Houses give them a place to live
This one is a bit out of the ordinary, but some people enjoy this method rather than others because it is much more aesthetically pleasing than the previous methods. A ladybug house is almost like a bird feeder in looks.
They are cute little houses used to mimic a lot of what a ladybug needs in a home during the colder months. It has great spaces for them to burrow as they would under tree bark, and it is designed specifically for a ladybug to want to live in it.
You can couple this with the UV light from the last removal method and attract them to the ladybug house with UV light.
This FUNPENY Wooden Insect House is a great option because it can double as a cute outdoor decoration and is a wonderful place for ladybug housing. It also comes with a wire brush for cleaning all the nooks and crannies of the house after use!
How To Prevent Ladybugs From Entering Your House
When it comes to ladybugs, if they know they can get in your house, they will do it again. So once you get them out of your house, you need to make it so they cannot get back in the next time they get a little cold.
Make Sure Doors And Window Frames Are Closed
There are a lot of things you can do to help prepare your home for the invasion of potential ladybugs. First and foremost, you can make sure all your doors and windows and their frames are nice and secure and there is no opening for them to get in.
Next, you can check and see if you have any gaps under your doors and if you do, you can get weather-stripped or a door stopper to help create a ladybug-proof barrier. This Foam Insulation Tape, Weather Stripping is a brilliant choice because it comes with over 30 feet of stripping and it’s very cost-effective.
Caulk Gaps In Home To Prevent Ladybugs From Entering
You can also use caulk and expanding foam if they are appropriate around doors and windows to help keep the bugs at bay. Screens and mesh can work too, just make sure they have small openings that a ladybug can’t fit themselves through to come inside.
The University of New Hampshire suggests you take AC units out the second you don’t need them and ensure your window is secure after removing them and that there are no gaps once the window is closed.
You can use these options in places like chimneys and vents, weep holes in bricks, really anywhere that might give a ladybug a chance to come inside. Do a walk around your home and look for any spots they can enter through.
If you are not sure where, you can use tape as a temporary solution to see if it slows or stops ladybugs from coming inside before using a more permanent solution like the ones listed above is suggested by Texas A&M.
Remove Ladybug Attractants From Your Home
You can also make sure you are not inviting them closer to your home by getting rid of anything near your house that might attract them. This includes things like tree branches and piles of firewood close to the house.
Move those things further away and you will notice a decrease in bug activity altogether, not just ladybugs. By getting rid of anything they can use as housing, you raise your chances of being ladybug-free this cold season.
How To Identify Ladybugs In Your Home
Ladybugs can go by a few different names because there are so many varieties of ladybugs. There are over 600 species of this bug, according to Texas A&M. They might be called Asian beetles or ladybird beetles.
These might not all be the same beetle exactly, but they are all variations of the same bug and behave almost identically to each other. They have most of the same habits for eating and living and the removal methods for each of them are also the same.
If you’re interested in learning more about the difference between ladybugs and ladybirds, take a look at our article: Should You Put Ladybugs & Ladybirds Outside? 3 Things to Consider
Most varieties are red or orange and have black spots and a black head. They are often pretty smelly because their only defense mechanism is to shoot out this yellowish liquid with a strong odor. This liquid can stain fabric and skin.
The supply of this liquid replenishes quickly, and it will not hurt the beetle to use its reservoir. Ladybugs, unlike bees, who only have one stinger to use, can use their fluid multiple times in their life. So, they are not afraid to spray this defensive liquid the second they feel threatened.
Ladybug Movement Inside Your Home
Ladybugs can climb and fly and while they are not a threat, they do come in large quantities, so you never have just a few ladybugs. You can have hundreds of them at a time.
You often see ladybugs swarming around windows, per the University of New Hampshire, because windows are a significant source of heat and light. Ladybugs will flock right to it in attempts to come into contact with that heat and light source.
Ladybug Egg Laying In Your Home
The only benefit of a ladybug infestation is you know once you get rid of them, you are rid of them. Unlike a lot of other pests, they do not lay eggs or mate when they are indoors. It is not the right environment for them to have eggs in because of the time of year.
The time of year is important because ladybugs are coming into your home to escape the harsh reality of winter. They do not thrive in cold temperatures and can be exterminated by them.
Overall, ladybugs can be helpful creatures if you see them in your garden or around your plants. It can be nice to have them to keep the aphids at bay, but in your garden is a different story than inside with you, invading your space.
By ensuring all means of entry are closed and all temptations are far from the home, you have a significant chance of not only getting rid of them but avoiding problems with them in the future.
Happy ladybug repelling!
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Mogilevich, T.A. The First Record of the Alien Ladybug Harmonia axyridisPall. 1773 (Coleoptera, Coccinellidae) in Azerbaijan. Russ J Biol Invasions12, 79–82 (2021).
Takuya Nakazawa, Shama M. Satinover, Lisa Naccara, Lucy Goddard, Bojan P. Dragulev, Edward Peters, Thomas A.E. Platts-Mills. (2007). Asian ladybugs (Harmonia axyridis): A new seasonal indoor allergen, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Volume 119, Issue 2,Pages 421-427. ISSN 0091-6749.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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