In the Fall, many homeowners experience an overwhelming onset of Ladybugs in their homes. Ladybugs are particularly attracted to homes in wooded areas, homes with natural wood siding that is warmed by the sun, homes with lots of cracks and crevices and are often attracted to light colored areas on homes. It is thought that the reason they gravitate towards lighter colored surfaces is that those areas mimic their native habitat where they hibernate in sun-warmed limestone cliffs. There are many options for helping to prevent and treat ladybug issues, check out our recommendations below.
Seal all Cracks, Gaps and Crevices
- Ladybugs enter homes through small cracks and crevices all over the house. Be sure to seal up all cracks around windows, doors, pipes, clap boards and other utility lines that enter the house before the Fall season approaches.
- Replace mortar and weatherstripping around basement foundation and windows.
- Repair or replace broken screens on windows and doors.
Spray a Repellent
- Ladybugs do not like citronella or the smell of mint.
- Combine peppermint essential oil with water and spray around the areas Ladybugs gather.
- For exterior areas where they may be entering, spray plant oil based repellent like NBS 30 around entry points to help discourage them.
Set Up a Ladybug House
- Provide the Ladybugs with another location to over winter that is safe and warm but outside your home by providing them with a Ladybug House.
- Mums are a late blooming Fall flower that repel ladybugs. Plant mums around your house, on decks and in window boxes.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
- Diatomaceous earth is a soft, crumbly, porous sedimentary deposit formed from the fossil remains of single celled algae. Spreading food grade diatomaceous earth around your house, awnings, window seals, etc will often keep Ladybugs away. The substance gets stuck to the Ladybug’s legs, making it unpleasant for them to walk through.
Treatment of Existing Infestations
Ladybugs are harmless, though they can be a nuisance and often make people uncomfortable. Ladybugs do not eat household items and do not lay eggs while hibernating in the home. Ladybugs will however excrete a stinky yellow substance, (which is actually their blood) when they sense danger, this substance has been known to stain light color objects. That being said, here are some methods to deal with an existing infestation:
Make an In-Home Repellent Spray
- Ladybugs don’t like the smell of camphor menthol, citrus or clove scents. Use a couple drops of one of these essential oils mixed with water in a spray bottle and spray in areas where the ladybugs are congregating. Often, they will leave the premises.
Vacuum with Hose Attachment or Shop Vac
- Ladybugs will often survive vacuuming. To do this humanely as possible, place an old sock on the end of the vacuum nozzle with a rubber band. The suction will pull the ladybugs into the sock and then you can easily transport them outside away from your home.
Caution: Use of topical insecticides or bug bombs on the exterior or interior of your home exposes children, pets and yourself to potentially harmful substances. For everyone’s safety, it is best to stick with sustainable methods of dealing with ladybugs.
Often several seasons of treatment may be necessary to rid your home of Ladybugs but your efforts will usually pay off over time.
Do you have a successful way of preventing Ladybugs? Share your story in the comments section below.