What To Do With Orange Asian Lady Beetles

| 2/1/2009 12:00:00 AM

What should I do with the orange Asian lady beetles in my house? Can I release them into my garden? 

Dalia Cressman
Omaha, Nebraska

Asian lady beetles (Harmonia axyridis) are a species introduced from eastern Asia, and they also are mighty beneficial insects that prey on aphids, a serious pest in many gardens. Each day, a single adult lady beetle can eat up to 270 aphids or other small insects, and each larva will devour 600 to 1,200 aphids during its 12- to 14-day feeding period. Some of that bug-nabbing will happen in your garden, but most of the action takes place in the treetops.ladybeetles

Light-colored buildings near wooded areas attract the attention of thousands of Asian lady beetles in fall as the beetles look for snug spots — such as inside your home’s walls — to spend the winter. The only way to keep the lady beetles out is to seal open crevices, and keep south-facing doors and windows tightly closed when they are swarming.

In spring, most of the lady beetles in your house will leave unnoticed the same way they came in; others will leave freely if you remove screens or storm windows and open warm windows an inch or two at the top.

Should you collect and release beetles that won’t leave on their own? In terms of control of other insect pests, the number of beneficial beetles you might capture and release outdoors is insignificant compared to the outdoor population as a whole, says Ted Cottrell, research entomologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Southeast Fruit and Nut Tree Research Lab in Byron, Ga. “From a convenience standpoint, get rid of them using your most effective and easiest method — dead or alive,” he says.

9/26/2015 5:12:52 PM

This vacuum attachment helps a lot: http://goo.gl/JKJ8eb

4/13/2015 4:43:30 AM

I always have Borage , Sunflowers, zinnias, calendula, chamomile, and more Borage, the best edible for Bees with their sky blue flowers and their cool as a cucumber flavor & attitude. I always have herbs, Cole crops, or perennials blooming-setting seed early ( such as kale, parsley, and thyme. Borage readily reseeds & attracts pollinators almost year round here in Reno, NV.Most important:Always provide a shallow source of water to keep them returning.

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