Ladybugs have long been seen as a great friend to have in your garden. But when there appear in massive numbers, many people look for DIY ladybug pest control strategies to mitigate the infestation.
There is a widespread confusion as to whether ladybugs are pests or not, just as the difference between it and the Asian Lady Beetle remains unclear to many. While both of them are two separate insects, you need know that the ladybug is not necessarily a pest. In fact, they help combat pests as they are known to eat aphids.
Nevertheless, we can also think of them as pests because while they may not cause any substantial damage indoors, they are often not welcome, especially in large numbers. Having them appearing all over furniture, sheets and bedding, and flying into your hair is enough to test the patience of any insect lover.
Ladybugs have almost the same basic needs as man: they love food (aphids and other insects) and warm shelter – well, maybe no need for clothing. At the beginning of winter, these pretty but occasionally irritating insects find their way into homes. They are attracted by light colors, which is why you'll often find your white bed sheets covered as they hang on the washing line.
Table Of Contents
- Classes of Ladybug Pest Control Strategies
- How To Eliminate A Ladybug Infestation
- Ladybug Repellent Home Remedy Ideas
- Special Vacuum Strategies
- Use Of Diatomaceous Earth
- Sealing Ladybug Points Of Entry
- Making Or Purchasing Ladybug Traps
- Install A Ladybug House
- Killing Ladybugs With Chemicals
- Use of Ladybug Repellants
Classes of Ladybug Pest Control Strategies
Very broadly, we can group ladybug control techniques into two: the natural control method and the artificial control method. The natural method includes the adoption of natural earth materials and normal practices to deal with them while the artificial method involves the use of chemicals.
Whatever method you decide on, you will realize it is way easier to prevent ladybugs from entering your home than expelling them from it. But should they eventually find their way in, these five strategies will help you keep the checked.
How To Eliminate A Ladybug Infestation
Ladybug Repellent Home Remedy Ideas
Special Vacuum Strategies
So you woke up one morning to find a stray ladybug crawling across you your bed as though it came to say “Good morning”, the first measure to adopt( of course after exchanging pleasantries with the uninvited guest) would be to clean up the floors of your room.
A vacuum cleaner helps you do this – with a little tweaking anyway. Using a pantyhose and some nylon material, create an artificial filter in your vacuum cleaner. This is just about as considerate as you can be to these bugs.
Now you can vacuum up every one of them as you navigate from room to room. When done, dispose of the gathered ladybugs anywhere considerably far away from your house as these bugs would find their way back to the comfort of your home if disposed of close enough. Impressive as this vacuum technique is, it does not guarantee 100% success when the infestation is severe.
Use Of Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a natural ladybug remedy that is as old as the hills. It acts as a natural pesticide. If you know where the insects are gaining entry, or where they typically settle, lay out some food grade diatomaceous earth. This dehydrates them and although it seems a little unkind, can definitely help keep an outbreak under control.
Also good for a variety of other insects and creepy crawlies like slugs, sowbugs and millipedes.
Sealing Ladybug Points Of Entry
Make no mistakes; ladybugs will find their way into your home from the most unlikely of crevices, holes and openings. You are probably not ever going to find a ladybug crawl into your home from the entrance door; it is safe to assume it knows it isn't welcome.
More often, they enter through minor cracks on your wooden doors, poorly fitted window panes and doors, and just about any opening that they can pass through.
The game plan here is to close every susceptible opening in your house if you live in an area that's prone to ladybug attack. And as winter starts to come, be expectant of these insects. Using sealants to seal cracks around windows and door, the use of draught excluding strips and even fly screens can be really useful.
Making Or Purchasing Ladybug Traps
Other than food and warmth, light is another thing that ladybugs find attractive. The most basic, yet very effective trap in handling these pests is the soap and water trap. To make this trap, simply add a few drops of liquid soap into a bowl of water. Then carefully place this bowl of water around a lamp or another source of light.
You can make as many of these traps as you need. Ideally, the setup should be placed near a window or any other location where these ladybugs are most active. This works best in the dark. The logic here is simple: the soap reduces the surface tension of the water; hence bugs that fall into them will drown rather than float.
Another type of trap can be made with a blacklight, milk jugs and some transparent sheets but making it takes more time. Again, you may not already own a black light.
Install A Ladybug House
As mentioned, ladybugs often come into the house during the winter looking to hibernate. A lot of people install a ladybug house like these on Amazon to provide an outside place for the critters to use.
I think it certainly beats killing the creatures unless you have to.
Here's a video on how to make a DIY ladybug house with a plastic bottle.
Killing Ladybugs With Chemicals
For most people, the first remedy that comes to their minds when they sense pest invasion in their home, is pesticide. Not all people are comfortable with this strategy even though it has a very high success rate. They claim it has some ecological implications, and they have solid points here.
But a time comes when the vacuum strategy will not be enough to eliminate a horde of ladybugs – outright elimination of them becomes a formidable option. Chemical substances such as pyrethoid can be strategically applied in and around the house to do the job. From attics to the internal and external walls of the house, these pesticides kill every ladybug that comes in contact with it.
To make them more effective, small quantities of adhesives are added to these chemicals. This does makes them stick to the surfaces they are applied on and ensures that ladybugs which come in contact with it are delayed long enough to make the chemicals act on them.
Use of Ladybug Repellants
Ladybugs can be controlled artificially by the use of chemicals that they are sensitive to. This is what you would consider an allergic or hypersensitive reaction. Chemical substances like camphor emit vapors that make these bugs uncomfortable; hence they try to run away from them. This is a form of negative chemotaxis – a term which describes the movement of organisms away from an undesired chemical stimulus.
For people who have a massive infestation of ladybugs in their homes, this is a much better strategy than the vacuum cleaner. It is also the way to go if you do not want to behold the sight of dead bugs littered all over your home.
Other repellants you can add to your collection are clove oil, menthol and citrus related fragrances. They are ideal for driving hiding ladybugs out of the secret places. As a general rule, check their safety standards before investing your money on such repellents as some of them could be very dangerous for the human respiratory system regardless of quantity used.
Ladybugs do a lot of good, eating aphids and other pests that will destroy your plants, but as with any useful creature, if they are in the wrong place or in large numbers, they become a pest that can easily impact your life negatively.
I always take a non lethal approach at the start, preferring to see if I can't create an environment that isn't so attractive. But ultimately, one can need to use ladybug pest control techniques if things don't resolve.
I hope these tips give you some ideas to move forward with if you suffer from the dreaded attack of the ladybugs.
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