Ladybug infestations: Let beetles be beetles

Should I call the exterminator or am I just really lucky?

That’s the question a lot of residents are asking themselves after noticing an infestation of ladybugs during the warm weather last weekend.

According to Peter Reid from Wildlife in Crisis, ladybugs are harmless, and if residents find them in their homes this winter, then they should consider keeping them.

“They’re cute little bugs, and they’re not harmful in any way,” he said.

Killing them could even be bad luck.

“In folklore it’s not good to kill ladybugs; there is a little kids rhyme warning us against it,” he said.

Originally brought from Asia to protect crops from other insects, this Asian beetle looks for warmth during the winter and finds it in suburban homes by creeping in through the tiniest spaces in windows or doors.

Reid said they never recommend pesticides for ladybug situations.

He suggests making an activity out of it by building a terrarium and depositing any ladybugs in there.

“You’re pretty much reduced to collecting them individually,” he said.

“I think kids will enjoy collecting them in the terrarium and taking care of them.”

A terrarium with the right level of humidity and some water ensures their survival until late March, when they can be safely deposited outside again.

Temporary stay

Ladybugs gather in groups, and they’re most likely to congregate in the sun-exposed sections of the house.

Reid said the ladybugs will stay only temporarily, during the coldest months.

And really, all they are is “tiny little beetles just being little beetles,” he said.