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Ladybug, ladybug fly away home...

 
John Polk
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As spring time is approaching, garden stores will start stocking boxes of ladybugs. Ladybugs are a very
permies way of dealing with scaley insects. Their appetite for aphids is famous. They can be cheap, if
they stick around and control your insect pests, but can be costly if they just fly away, as is common.

The key lies in their nature. When they come out of dormancy they are hungry, and the first thing that
their natural instinct tells them to do is to migrate. That is why they usually just fly away.
The way to prevent this is to wait until after sunset, but before total darkness to release them.
If it is getting dark, they will find a place to set up camp for the night. If their camp is amongst a
ready supply of food, they are much less likely to fly away. A good breakfast is a good welcome home.

If you have a greenhouse, high tunnel or hoop houses, they are excellent spots to release them, as they
will find shelter and food there...no need to migrate.

Ladybugs require a source of pollen for food and are attracted to specific types of plants.
The most popular ones are any type of mustard plant, as well as other early blooming nectar and
pollen sources, like buckwheat, coriander, red or crimson clover, and legumes like vetches, and also
early aphid sources, such as bronze fennel, dill, coriander, caraway, angelica, tansy, yarrow, wild carrot.
Other plants that also attract ladybugs include coreopsis, (white) cosmos, dandelions and scented geraniums.



 
kent smith
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Location: Pennsylvania
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we have had dozens of lady bugs that over wintered in our house and cellar, especially the upstairs bathroom on the west side of the house. On sunny warm days like today there will be hundreds of them on the outside of the west side of the house. This is the first place that I have lived where this happened.
kent
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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In the fall just as the weather starts to get cold they start looking for a place to overwinter. Houses attract them in the thousands because of the heat they reflect. Once a few ladybugs find a good place to stay, they leave a chemical attractant to other ladybugs letting them know about the habitat. This is more of a problem with the Asian Lady Beetle as they tend to swarm together in greater numbers than the typical red Ladybug most people know.

My house gets inundated with thousands of them every fall. They swarm mostly on a warm sunny day usually after the first cold snap of later fall. I used a broom for a while but eventually had to resort to a vacuum to keep up with them. I transfer them to the far end of my wood pile.

If you hang a sheet of cardboard on the side of your house they will swarm together under it. Then just scoop them up into a jar or other container. You can overwinter them with some success if you make sure they don't dry out.


 
John Pavon
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Great Idea! In regards to John Polk’s entry:
Reason why Ladybugs “fly away” from your yard or garden is because they have a need to “migrate”. My two years of research reveals something different. Yes, Ladybugs do migrate every year byi nstinct they know when its time end of the summer to catch a jet-stream head to the high country or mountains to hibernate for the winter, but unlike bears which actually sleep in a cave Ladybug gather in big colonies of thousands and thousands. The still move about but not too much they are living off stored fat in their bodies, In the spring time they instinctly know when it is time to catch another jet-stream to bring them back to the valleys or fat lands to feed and breed. Now when and were they get on or off the jet stream actually varies from season to season which explains why spotting of ladybugs at different locations both in winter natural landing spots and spring valley or flat lands landing spots. One landing on the west coast they landed on a beach if they had gotten off any later of the jet stream they would have ended up in the ocean as fish bait. Its all about “How to care for the Ladybug” I wrote a blog on the History of Ladybug which will lead you the correct answer “How to care for your ladybugs” http://historyoftheladybug.blogspot.com/-
 
Kim Williamson
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Location: Willow Creek, AB, Canada
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This is our first summer on our new property, and upon moving in this past October, we noticed a ridiculous amount of ladybugs in and out of the house! All winter, we found them by the darn handful it seemed! Even now, we find at least three or four a day, IN the house! Of course, this is much to the delight of my three year old, who is CRAZY about ladybugs, and has been since a young age.
I honestly thought our house was just unique in this, but reading this thread proves we arent special at all, LOL I wont tell Georgia, my three yr old! I hope they stick around anyhow, come summer!
 
John Pavon
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In response to Kim Williamson post: Finding Ladybugs in your home, My first response was that which species of ladybug are you talking about? Most of the Ladybugs I have researched and studied migrate up to the high country, with the exception of one species the "Asian Lady Beetle" They are native to asia and use caves to dwell in. Back in the early 60's In the farm belt the Lima bean farmers cryed "Wolf" or "Aphids" to be correct to the gov. The Gov. went into action, first they contacted the chem. companies and asked it they had a pesticide to combat the high population of aphids eating their crop of lima beans the chem. company said, no but we can experiment, so the gov found an Ag. expert this Ag. expert said, the aphids were Asian aphids so he recommended getting Asian Ladybugs to eat the Asian aphids. So without any futher research they imported thousand and thousand of Asian Ladybugs and release them in the farm belt. The plan worked the Asian Ladybugs eat the Aphids. But with one big problem it turns out the Asian Aphids were incorrectly ID's and they were American Aphids, without knowing the Asian Ladybeetle's migration habbits, nesting habbits or eating habbits the release them to the USA. Now people are complaining that the Asian ladybeetle has over shadowed the local species taken over territory and the biggest problem is instead of migrating to the mountains like the local species of Ladybugs they instead like to live in your home or house. You can see videos of people showing the hundreds of asian ladybugs in on the walls and windows. I would recommend you look at these ladybugs closer to see what species they really are. If they are Asian Ladybugs I would use a sock on the end of a valcume and capture them then get them out of your house. To learn more on Ladybugs go the new blog History of the Ladybug: http://historyoftheladybug.blogspot.com/

 
Karen Donnachaidh
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This is the only thread that comes up when I search for Asian Ladybugs.
I am plagued by these bugs. Every year, on warm Fall days, you can't stand to go outside. You get covered by them in seconds. They find their way inside as well.
Ladybugs (the beneficial kind) are great. Not these. If these kill aphids, I don't know how any aphids could survive with these numbers of AL. We have tons of aphids, so I don't think they're helping me any there. These things bite too!
I'm including a few pics, but they really don't show the magnitude of the invasion.
Anyone have a good suggestion for the problem?
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My kitchen window
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Side of house
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[Thumbnail for IMG_20161029_151539.jpg]
In the ivy too
 
Casie Becker
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It might seem cruel, but just like any other creature with a exoskeleton, diatomaceous earth would probably control them. Put it along base boards, window seals and any other crevice where they are sheltering. You'll be vacuuming up their remains in short order. Soon the winter weather will prevent more from traveling in. 

If you have chickens or fish that will eat them, they'll still be safe as food, unlike most common chemical treatments. Ladybugs have evolved to taste unpleasant to predators, though. If they turn out to be unsuitable for food, they'll still be safe additions to your compost pile.

I'd be cautious about using it outside, though. It can also impact your beneficial insect counts. Success outside would have a lot to do with how much space you can devote to encouraging their natural predators. Since they're an imported species, this is especially difficult.  

 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Thanks Casie. I do have DE. They are finding their way in around the windows and doors. I don't know about putting it in the windows sills though. It's going to be warm for several days and if the windows are open the DE may be airborne into the house. That's not something you want to breathe in. IDK. I'm not sure what H will say. I hate cool weather but I hope it gets cold soon.
 
Daniel Bowman
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Location: Sandy Mush, NC
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My house is also infested. Late afternoon when the low sun shines on my house you can hear them trying to get in. I leave a single light on and wait for them to accumulate in the fixture and then I vacuum them out by the hundreds. This year is the worst I have seen since moving here three years ago. Last fall I tried insulating a carboard box and cutting an entrance hole in it. I would vacuum them up out of the house and pour them in this box, hoping that eventually they would start to find the box on their own. Nope!
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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I wonder if they are good with Hollandaise sauce. Just a thought.
 
Marco Banks
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How are they getting into your house?

It would stand to reason that if ladybugs are getting into your house, heat is escaping from those very same holes and cracks.  I'd be going around with weather stripping and a caulk gun . . . seal your house up air-tight.  Kill two birds (so to speak) with one stone.
 
Daniel Bowman
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Location: Sandy Mush, NC
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Well.. I have pretty much resolved myself that we will have to build a new house to solve this problem. I love our ramshackle little cottage, built from rough lumber milled from our own trees, but it leaks like a sieve, the live edge siding is all cupped and carpernter bees get under it every year, the windows are all recycled and poorly framed, etc etc. It still is cozy, aesthetically beautiful and I prefer it over any prefab house. But the lady bugs do really suck for about a 3 week period. We are planning to build something new in the spring at a second house site we have graded. Then in a couple years once we move out, we will more or less gut this place to a frame and roof and seal it up a lot better, likely using hempcrete for a monolithic wall construction.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Our house is really old, built in 1880. There's no need to do much caulking and weather stripping since it's not even insulated. There is some insulation in the upper attic but that's about it.

All sorts of creatures come and go here. We've had flying squirrels in the upper attic and bedroom below it, a 7' black snake in the lower attic, found two black snakes mating in the living room closet, a water snake in the dining room, a bat in my chest of drawers, pack rats in the lower attic, field mice anywhere...and for the next few weeks, ladybugs. It's a circus. Guess I could charge admission and make a few bucks.

The number of ladybugs in the house isn't a big problem. The swarm outside is unreal. They light on you and you come back inside with a dozen on you. The H came in yesterday and I vacuumed him as soon as he stepped inside.  I feel trapped in the house. All outside chores have to be done early before the bugs are in full force.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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