Seasonal Ladybugs Swarm Lakewood and Other Locales


ladybug2Ladybugs looking for shelter for their winter hibernation are swarming buildings and homes across New Jersey. Pest-control specialists even get bugged by the legions of ladybugs lately swarming Lakewood, NJ, homes and other stretches across the country, exploiting gaps in door and window seals for cozier climes inside. Bug experts say the Asian lady beetles are making their seasonal appearance in droves in search of warmth for the approaching winter.

The beetles are harmless to humans. That doesn’t make them any less annoying though.

The swarms have also been reported in many other states, including Missouri, Massachusetts, Illinois and Canada.

“Every night when I get home and it’s dark, I turn on the lights and I have them to greet me. A lot of them,” said pest-control specialist Gene Scholes, an entomologist for Reliable Pest Solutions in Quincy, Ill.

Thousands of them have congregated since Sunday outside his home near Hannibal, Mo. Dozens more have weaseled their way inside, he said, “and when they get in my space like that, that’s when they bother me.”

Their fate? Scholes’ vacuum cleaner.

The beetle swarms tend to be heaviest on warm days after a period of cooler weather, Scholes and other insect experts said.

Where the beetles swarm can vary wildly, according to experts.

The beetles are particularly drawn to light-colored buildings with sunny exposures as they look for a warm place where they can ride out the winter. “Basically they just shut down,” said Collin Wamsley, an entomologist with the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

The ladybugs aren’t venomous but at times bite humans, leaving a red mark as they test a person’s fitness as a possible meal. And “people don’t like them because they smell bad,” the result of their stinky ability to reflexively bleed to ward off birds and other predators, Nixon said.

Controlling the beetles starts with prevention, including sealing areas where pipes or dryer vents enter the home, according to the University of Illinois extension’s Web site. Caulking around doors, windows and chimneys — as well as repairing tears in screens and keeping siding in good repair — also may help.

Smashing the insects against furniture or drapes can stain, and crushed beetles stink. Scholes and others suggest using a vacuum cleaner to collect the bugs, then emptying it outside.

{Times Union/Garden State Gazette/Noam Newscenter}


  1. Thanks for the info. I was wondering what this was all about, they were all over the entrance to my house, windows, etc, and couldn’t open the door without some getting inside! They’re cute to look at, but annoying as there are sooooo many flying all over. I thought it was only me.

  2. I wouldn’t mind having some ladybugs around. I haven’t seen one all summer. They eat aphids and other nasty insects. I happen to have a plague of little brown bugs in my house and maybe some ladybugs would come and eat them.