It’s almost time for Asian beetles to wake up in Mississippi

Published 6:50 am Sunday, January 29, 2023

Asian lady beetles are known for inviting themselves into houses and other structures during winter to hibernate. Soffit and gable vents in home attics are common entry points for the beetles, but they will come in any way they can. Any crack in windows, walls or the sides of doors is a welcome mat.

MSU Extension Entomologist Dr. Blake Layton says it is no coincidence that most homeowners who face problems with Asian lady beetles and many other insects live in wooded areas. Asian lady beetles are beneficial because they feed on tree-dwelling aphids, white flies, small caterpillars, and other pests; however, when the beetles are indoors, they serve no good purpose and become pests themselves.

When they get inside and settle in for the winter, one won’t see them until it warms up. Once spring arrives, they’re ready to leave, but many of them tend to get lost in the process and die inside the house. They can cause small stains on walls and wall coverings, and some people are allergic to the dust from the bodies of dead beetles.

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According to the Mississippi State Extension Service, it is not advised to seal off cracks on the exterior of the house this time of year because that would only trap the beetles inside. Summer is the best time to seal off entry points on the exterior of the home. Depending on location and weather conditions, lady beetles normally begin searching for overwintering sites in October.

Additionally, any time of year is acceptable for sealing cracks on inside walls and ceilings, along with doors and windows that open directly to the outside. Check roof, gable and soffit vents to make sure they are adequately screened. In the meantime, one’s best bet is to break out the broom and vacuum to help manage the lady beetles in one’s home.