Wednesday, October 27, 2004


It looks like Fall is finally setting in with the cool weather and the changing leaves. Along with the change of seasons comes the lady bugs. Lots and lots of lady bugs.

Actually they are not lady bugs but Asian Beetles. They come by the hundreds (perhaps thousands) looking for a warm cozy place to spend the winter. They cover our house and porch. Anywhere there is a sunny patch, you'll find them. Whenever someone opens the front or back door a few more slip inside to congregate along the ceiling, near the lights or in the corners of our rooms.

Yesterday my husband came home to find our front door open. Someone must not have closed it all the way when letting the dogs out in the morning. Thank goodness we live out in the country where we don't worry much about crime and that we have two quite protective dogs (well protective and leary of strangers unless you are the UPS man with a box of dog treats). After my husband accounted for all four cats (they know that life is better with us rather than OUT THERE) he noticed the lady bugs Asian Beetles. Hundreds of them flying around the entry way, migrating up to the dormer window two stories up. He was able to capture most of them with the vacuum, but the ones that he missed could be seen wandering along the ceiling or grouping in the corners. By bedtime though, they were no where to be seen...Lord only knows where they are hiding.

I knew they were getting bad on Sunday. Jed and I were sitting outside with my mother-in-law. Lady bugs Asian Beetles were landing on me about 5 a minute. And something I never knew...THEY BITE! Jed was having a great time though, trying to pick up these tiny moving red and blank things. Most of the time he would pick up off the porch and end up dropping it a few seconds later. However, after I had to extract one from his mouth, I decided we needed to find a new game.

Shelby had told me in the past that they stink. I thought she was crazy (well sometimes I still think that) but apparently they do.

In addition to biting, they exude a foul-smelling, yellow defensive chemical, which will sometimes cause spotting on walls and other surfaces. Most people are only annoyed by the odor of these chemicals. However, some individuals experience an allergic reaction to the defensive excretions. Sinus irritations and mild skin irritations have been reported subsequent to encounters with the Asian beetle. It is probably not an over-reaction to wash hands or other skin after contacting the beetles. In at least one study, the severity of sinus problems subsided with the removal of beetles from the home.

Oh and from the other site on removal:

"If beetles are already in your house, use a broom and dust pan or vacuum cleaner to remove them," Jacobs says. "But because they're very beneficial in controlling damaging pests, they should be released unharmed in a protected area outside."

Hee! I don't think disposing of those that invade my house is going to put much of a dent in the population. "Come here little buggy bug...crawl into this nice little jar so that I can release you back in to the wild, where you belong. Be Free Lady Bug, uhm I mean Asian Free..."