LadyBugs: Pretty to Look At Until They Infest Your Home
Ladybugs are from the beetle family and are considered important beneficial insects because they consume plant-eating insects, but some have a habit of overwintering in structures, leading them to become nuisance pests. They vary in color from red, orange, yellow, brown or shiny black with various markings on their body (usually dark spots).
During the spring and summer months, their population increases due to the high number of foliage and aphid infestations. In the fall, adults seek protected places to overwinter including under leaves, rocks, and inside buildings and homes.
Most ladybug species do not pose a health threat to humans, except for one — the Asian lady beetle. The Asian lady beetle was released in New Jersey over a decade ago to combat an invasive plant species that were causing millions of dollars in damages to NJ's agriculture. This ladybug species is known to aggravate asthma and cause allergic reactions in some people. In addition, they exude a sticky, yellow, foul-smelling defensive fluid that stains whatever it touches.