Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis)
This beetle is native to Asia but now can be found in many areas of the United States. This beneficial insect was imported and released as early as 1916 to naturally control certain insect pests.
The first established populations of the insect were found in Louisiana in 1988 near the busy port of New Orleans. Accidental introductions have occurred via imported nursery items in Delaware and South Carolina.
The multicolored Asian lady beetle can be an effective natural control for aphids, scale and other harmful plant pests. Unfortunately, its tendency to over winter in homes and other buildings can make it a nuisance.
The beetles periodically become active during the winter and may invade bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens. When agitated or squashed, these beetles may give off a yellow fluid and unpleasant odor that can stain walls and fabrics.
Prevention is the best approach to dealing with these insects. Caulking exterior cracks and crevices before the ladybugs enter in the fall is effective. Sweeping and vacuuming will safely remove ladybugs that have already found their way into the home. Insecticides are not recommended. Ladybugs are attracted to light, and researchers in Georgia have developed a light trap for indoor use. Detailed instructions are available at: