There are many different species of lady beetles; these insects are a type of occasional invader that often enter into homes to overwinter inside of them. Lady beetles are found throughout the United States including Missouri.
Adult lady beetles are brightly colored and are most often found being red, orange, or yellow in color. Most species have distinctive black spots on their bodies. Lady beetles have an oval-dome shaped body, short antennae, and their head can tuck partly or completely underneath of their neck line. Their larvae have a soft body, are segmented, have six legs. The larvae bodies have bristles on them and are a mottled gray, black, gray, and tan in color.
The life cycle of a lady beetle can vary depending on the specific species, but all go through four life stages- egg, larval, pupal, and adult. The lady beetle lays her eggs and they hatch and the larvae eat and grow until they pupate and emerge as winged adults. The entire life cycle take approximately 1-2 months.
Lady Bird beetles live outdoors and in the fall when the weather cools they gather on the sunny sides of homes and other buildings; as they move up the exterior walls they sometimes come inside. Once inside they move into dark quiet areas like attics, walls voids, and underneath floors. They overwinter inside and become active once again in the spring and then move back outside to feed, mate, and lay their eggs.
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The best way to prevent a lady bug infestation is to fix the areas in your home that may allow them in. Make sure that all chimneys have a tight fitting cap on them, caulk gaps around exterior windows and doors, seal any spaces around utility lines, and seal cracks and crevices in the foundation. Trim back trees and bushes away from the outside of your home and place garden areas a distance away from your home.
The best way to control lady beetles in and around your home is with professional pest control services. At Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions a trained technician will inspect your home and find the areas that could be allowing lady beetles inside. We will then provide control services through our Signature Protection Program and offer suggestions on how to keep lady beetles out of your home.