March 18, 2017
For the third year in a row (we've lived here for 30 years) as soon as it warms up a little we have a screened in porch full (100's) of bugs. I thought they were lady bugs and so I would vacuum them up and put them outside. A friend said they were beetles and not lady bugs. They look like lady bugs to me, what are they? They get in the house too.
It sounds to me like the Asian ladybug which is a beetle as are all ladybugs. The Asian ladybug adult is slightly larger than our native ladybug and can occur in several color patterns varying from solid orange, orange with black spots to red with black spots. It is a beneficial insect and feeds on pests such as aphids, mites, thrips, and scale. Unfortunately in the fall, they gather in large numbers on the outside of light-colored houses and can find their way inside through cracks or holes. They have also been known to get inside mailboxes, barns and garages looking for a place to spend the winter. They hibernate through the winter and become active again in spring. Vacuuming them up and putting them outside is a good idea. Do be aware that they emit a foul smelling yellow staining substance when disturbed which can stain whatever they are on indoors. Try to seal any cracks or openings to block them coming in next fall.
I have successfully stopped my slug problem on my beautiful hosta garden!! A heavy load of sweet gum balls as mulch. But now I have these uninvited guests consuming the leaves. Can they be sprayed or dusted now?
From the photo it appears they are lady bugs and lady bug larvae--that is the small alligator looking creature in the picture you sent. They should not be cutting holes in the leaves, but feeding on aphids that may be present. Lady bugs are beneficial insects in all stages, and don't harm plants. Look closely to make sure you have no slugs hiding or possibly caterpillars feeding. There are numerous insects that can feed on hostas, but the lady bugs aren’t the culprit.
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