For many, spotting a ladybug during your day is considered good luck. These small, spotted creatures—also known as lady beetles—are actually very healthy for the environment in most cases. They eat up aphid infestations and other bugs that prey on our garden.

However, if ladybugs find their way into your home and multiply, a cute sighting can turn into a major problem. In this guide, we explain how to get rid of ladybugs in your home safely and quickly. We’ll also cover ways they may be sneaking back into your home, where they hibernate and reproduce, and how to shepherd them back into your garden where they can actually benefit your property.

Ladybug infestations can also quickly grow beyond your control without a professional eye. When in doubt, we always recommend reaching out to a top pest control company like Terminix or Orkin.

A quicker option includes the Katchy Duo Insect Trap, which can eliminate your insect problems without the hassle of an inspection.

 


 

Ladybug Basics

You’ll rarely find a lone ladybug in your home or garden, but when you do, it’s often a fun discovery. In reality, that little beetle is most likely traveling from a nearby colony where hundreds of ladybugs are born and gather together.

Great in the Garden

Ladybugs are often seen as a benefit to outdoor environments. Farmers typically enjoy these large colonies because they fight aphids naturally, an aphids are notoriously damaging to crops. Ladybugs may lay their eggs near the aphid larvae so young ladybugs can feast as soon as they’re born—further helping cut down the aphid population in a vegetable or flower garden.

It’s important to know, however, that there are thousands of lady beetle species, and there are even “good bugs“—insects that are more helpful to your garden than others.

However, a few species or insects that look very similar to ladybugs, such as the Mexican bean beetle, will even feast on your plants instead of your plant pests. If you spot a non-spotted red beetle eating all the leaves in your garden, you may have a Japanese beetle issue instead.

Unhelpful Housemates

Ladybugs do not typically bite humans, but they can lightly bite or pinch if they feel threatened. Some people experience allergic reactions to these small attacks, including a rash, welts, sneezing, or itchy eyes. One ladybug can also lay up to 1,000 eggs in its lifetime, making it easy for them to set up shop in your home over time.

Luckily, they do not present any threat to the wood or fabric in your home like termites or moths.

 


 

Ladybugs in Your Home

Ladybug colonies traditionally cluster in your home in the colder months to find a place to weather the winter. They can even emit trails of pheromones to attract other ladybugs to take shelter in their newly found spot. Ladybugs will find a warm, dark, and protected area to lay eggs in the fall before winter comes.

How They Get In and Why They Stay

Ladybugs are attracted to the warmth and safety of your home for nesting, the same way they gather inside tree trunks and under large rocks. They may creep in through windows, under doors, throughout basements, and in drainage pipes. You’ll typically find ladybug colonies appear in corners of rooms or windows for this reason.

Ladybugs can also travel inside via houseplants, especially those that you transfer from the outdoor porch to the living room before the winter. Once they’re inside, they may use their chemical secretions to attract the rest of a colony.

Ladybug Lifespan

Ladybugs typically live for an average of 1 year—making them tricky to keep up with if they’re settling in for the season. During this time, they will lay thousands of eggs and multiply quite quickly if not contained.

 


 

Steps for Getting Rid of Ladybugs

Though ladybugs do not pose a major threat to the health or structure of your home, you do want to discourage them from taking up residence in the long run. Prevention, removal, or relocation are three ways to get rid of ladybugs, even if you have a colony forming.

Here are the top ways to get ahead of your ladybug infestation or prepare for a possible infestation.

1. Sweeping and Vacuuming

As simple as it may sound, gathering up ladybugs with a broom and dustpan or vacuum cleaner is one of the easiest ways to remove a colony. For example, vacuum up a large group of ladybugs and immediately empty the vacuum bag or canister outside. Physically relocating the colony will discourage more from joining if the infestation has not grown too large.

After they are removed, wash the area with soap to eliminate any chemical trails used to attract more bugs.

2. Dish Soap

If your infestation has grown out of control and it is too difficult to simply relocate the colony, dish soap is a simple way to get rid of a large range of small bugs in your home. Spray a colony with soapy water or leave a bowl that combines soap and water near a light source where they gather. The thickness of the soap keeps the ladybugs from leaving the water easily.

3. Duct Tape

Hard-to-reach ladybugs can be lifted up with duct tape wrapped around your hand or finger. This allows you to safely remove the colony and relocate them outside. You can also simply leave strips of quality duct tape out to act as an easy trap. We recommend Gorilla Duct Tape and the classic Duck Duct Tape for especially effective removal.

4. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth offers an easy way to kill bugs in your home. The white powder can typically be found online or even at your local home repair store. Sprinkle the powder around your colony or at the edges of common entry points to both deter and eliminate new infestations.

5. Light Trap

Make a ladybug-friendly light trap at home with common items in your kitchen. Cut a plastic soda bottle in half and flip the top half into the bottom portion to create a funnel. Add an LED light into the funnel, leaving room for the ladybugs to enter the bottom of the bottle. The beetles will flock toward the light but then get stuck in the trap, ready for release outside.

Or save yourself some time by purchasing a Zevo Flying Insect Trap which attracts flying insects with blue light and UV light. 

6. Surround Your Home With Mums

When the fall rolls around, fill your home, garden, and porches with mums—a plant ladybugs particularly hate. Since this is the prime season ladybugs will come looking for a place to stay for the winter, the smell of the mums will deter them from filling your property.

7. Natural Repellent

A range of herbs and essential oils can also deter ladybugs from gathering or entering your home in the first place. Be sure to check if these items are safe for pets and children if they are in an easy-to-access location.

In the case of essential oils, dilute a few drops in a carrier oil, a spritzer bottle, or add to your DIY natural cleaning products and apply to areas where the bugs congregate. Some of the best oil diffusers can even prove effective at dissuading ladybugs from the vicinity.

  • Bay leaves
  • Cloves or clove oil
  • Citronella
  • Lavender oil
  • Lemon or orange oil

8. Chemical Repellent and Traps

You can also find a range of very thorough ladybug repellents and killers online. Many of the sprays aim to keep ladybugs from gathering and kill bugs if they do come in contact with the dried spray. Our favorite repellants include PureCrop1 Organic Insecticide Concentrate, Bug Soother Spray Natural Repellent, and EcoVenger All Purpose Home Insect Control.

Keep in mind that the best fly traps also perform well at attracting and eliminating other flying insects, including ladybugs.

 


 

Recommended Providers for Ladybug Control

Pest control is often best left to the professionals, especially if you’re uncertain how far your infestation extends. Ladybugs can hide in walls, crevices, and other small spaces simply too difficult to scope out on your own. We’ve analyzed the country’s best pest control companies that know how to get rid of ladybugs in your home or garden and keep them away. Terminix and Orkin provide comprehensive pest management services both to diagnose and treat your pest issue.

Get a free online quote from Terminix or call the company at 866-569-4035. For a free quote from Orkin, call 877-868-1416 or complete this quick form.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Ladybugs

 


 

Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews Team backs up our pest control recommendations with a detailed rating methodology that we use to objectively score each provider. We review pest control plans, navigate the provider website, speak with customer service representatives by phone and online chat (if available), request quotes, and analyze customer reviews for each provider. We then score the provider against our review standards for plan options, additional benefits and convenience factors, availability, trustworthiness, and customer service to arrive at a final score out of 100.

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