Everyone loves lady bugs except when they invade your home by the thousands. A friend of mine recently had a lady bug infestation and dug up this page for ways to manage it. The best plan is to stop them before they get in by sealing all cracks and potential entry points, particularly spaces around doors, windows and siding. But if the bugs are already in your home, poisons are of limited value and your best bet is to use a vacuum. Lady bugs are not killed when they are vacuumed up so the page recommends changing the bag often. An alternative method involves putting a nylon stocking over the hose and securing with a rubber band. As the bugs are captured, you can discard the nylon and replace with another one. Clever! Read how to eliminate the top five summertime pests here.
The insect in question is not the docile lady bug that we all know and value for it's gardening benefits in killing and controlling aphids, but rather the Asian Lady Beetle that is often mistaken for the Lady Bug. The Asian Lady Beetle looks similar but it's color is varied and can range from dark red or orange to yellow and black, and it's spots are of larger size. Other differences are that the Asian Lady Beetle will bite, does release a pungent substance that will stain and create a distasteful smell when killed and does have a tendency to seek out your home to reside in over the winter months, especially after mating. The Beetle is attracted to light and white or lightly colored objects, such as the white painted walls of a home for instance, and once it is inside it seeks to hibernate throughout the winter. If a warm front comes through before the end of winter you will find several groups of them emerging from their hiding places as they have become confused as to what season it is and think it is now spring, but many will remain dormant in hibernation which is one of the things that causes difficulties in getting to them with pesticides when they hibernate, as it is hard to get the insecticide down into the place they are hiding and into them in their now diminished state of being. Yet it brings about an opportunity for you too, if you were to heat the home significantly fooling the bug into thinking it was spring, many will emerge, and if you set up a few traps using a light over a white bowl or bottle of water with dishwashing detergent in it the bug will seek out the white light and heat and drown in the water trap, such traps have been used in variations for fleas, wasps and flies for a long time and are effective, but this pest is truly a pain to get rid of. This site http://www.ipm.msu.edu/beetleFAQ.htm gives you more information as to how this pest made it's way to the US from some near sited folks seeking a cure for the pecan tree pests that were lowering their profits and how it differs from the Lady Bug and some idea's on how to control the insect. There are some insecticides that do work but it would require multiple applications and are pesticides with all that that entails. Prevention as this blog post points out is the best point to begin with, and a dual plan of attack for inside and outside the home is the way to go, but the insect in question is not our frind the Lady Bug but rather it's evil cousin the Asian Lady Beetle.
We had this issue this year (and the other poster's right, they're not cuddly ladybugs). In addition to fixing the weatherstripping we also bought a couple sticks of Dead-Fast chalk. You draw a line, they walk across it, they die. Easy. You can buy it at www.dead-fast.com.