Follow These Simple Steps to Prevent a Ladybug Infestation

With their cheery red shells and perky black polka dots, ladybugs often show up as Halloween costumes and themed party decor, so it's hard to believe they're considered a pest by many.

How to get rid of ladybugsPhoto: Shutterstock

First, they’re not all bad

Anyone who has had a ladybug infestation knows that these buggers can become a real nuisance. Here’s how to get rid of ladybugs that are bugging you.

To be fair, some ladybugs are wonderful insects that help control plant-eating pests like aphids. The “good” ladybugs are smaller, have bright red shells and all-black heads with white cheeks. (Want to avoid those itchy bug bites this summer? Find the right repellent for you.)

There are 450 ladybug species in North America alone, and some of those eat the plants (instead of the aphids), such as the Mexican bean beetle (yellow-orange with black spots) and the squash beetle (yellow-orange with larger black spots). And, there’s the dreaded Asian lady beetle, which is known for aggravating asthma symptoms and excreting a foul smelling liquid that stains. (Here are 13 things your exterminator wishes you knew.)

Ladybug pest control

There are ways to protect your home from an infestation and things you can do if you’re too late and they’re already inside.

  • Prevent ladybugs from coming inside your home by sealing it up. One of the main ways ladybugs get inside is through all the small crevices, cracks and spaces around doors, windows, siding, fascia and the like. Use caulk and expanding foam insulation to seal up and fill all the gaps.
  • Vacuum them up right away: You don’t want to squash Asian lady beetles because it could leave behind a stain and an unpleasant smell. Instead, suck them up with the vacuum and empty the dust cup or bag immediately. If you don’t dispose of the sucked-up bugs right away, your vacuum will be stinky the next time you use it.
  • Use citrus or citronella cleaners: Ladybugs, specifically Asian lady beetles, are attracted to their own scent but are not a fan of citrus or citronella. Use a cleaner with those scents to discourage an infestation.
  • Plant mums: Mums are the most unattractive flower to ladybugs, so, if you plant them near your doors, you can discourage these bugs from coming into your home.
  • Set out some home-made potpourri: Bay leaves and cloves are a big detractor for ladybugs but they smell great to humans! Wrap some bay leaves and cloves in cloth bags and place them around your house to deter the bugs.
  • Call in a specialist. If you still have a ladybug problem after trying these remedies, it might be time to call a professional.

Check out the most disgusting house bugs—and the best ways to get rid of them.

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Originally Published on The Family Handyman