Question: We have a bug that looks like a lady bug but it is orange-brown in color. It bites, stinks and stains when it is smashed. How do we get rid it? And what is it?
ANSWER: What you have is probably the Asian lady beetle or Japanese lady bug (Harmonia axyridis). These insects can be a nuisance in almost all parts of the country. They usually make their presence known in the fall and winter when they collect in large numbers around the perimeter of houses and buildings. A large number of them make their way inside to spend the winter.
These beetles were introduced into the U.S. to control aphids. Adult beetles and the larvae can eat hundreds of aphids each day, and so they are considered beneficial insects.
These beetles live outdoors during the summer feeding on aphids and perhaps some other pests of ornamental and vegetable plants. Asian lady beetles overwinter in protected places, and sometimes this includes coming inside the house.
The best control strategy for the beetles that have come indoors is to use a vacuum cleaner to remove them from the windows and walls. They are harmless, but if crushed indoors they can leave a stain on carpeting or drapes.
Outdoors in the fall you can spray the beetles that are gathered on the side of the house with a garden hose and water to discourage them.
Caulk any cracks around doors and windows. Make sure exterior doors close tightly. Repair any damaged screens on windows and vents—check the attic vents too.
Call your local Orkin Branch Office to set up an inspection by an Orkin Pest Specialist. The Specialist will develop a treatment plan for the inside and outside of your home, backed by science, which is customized to meet your needs.