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Ladybug, ladybug … Don’t fly to my home

Published 9:06am Thursday, November 21, 2013

I ’ve heard several people complain about ladybugs this past week. It’s starting to cool off so they are in search of a warm place to hibernate until spring.

Luckily, ladybugs are good bugs. They don’t bite. They don’t eat cloth, paper or household items. They really like to eat aphids though which makes them good for garden infestations.

However, most of us are not thrilled at the idea of them camping out in our homes for a few months. If they could pay rent or wash the dishes, we might be a little more receptive – but as it stands they just hang around the ceilings of our homes free-loading and relaxing.

Ladybugs are attracted to light-colored homes. They enter through small cracks and crevices around windows and doorways and voids in siding. They typically prefer a humid location which may explain why you’re likely to see them in your bathroom.  Great! Someone else to share the bathroom with!

If you don’t have many, I would suggest leaving them. They will depart once spring arrives.

What if you have an infestation or an overwhelming fear of ladybugs? According to the all-knowing Internet, there are a few things you can do to deter them and make your home less attractive and cozy to the tiny free-loaders.

Caulk and seal every single crack and crevice in your home.

Vacuum them up and release them outside. You must release them or they will crawl right back out of the vacuum and continue to hang out in your home. (Don’t ask me how I know.)

Burn several lemon scented candles.

Clean window sills, door frames, and other places you see them with ammonia.

They are not fans of menthol or camphor. Use Vick’s or Vapo Rub in your humidifier, scented plug-ins or warmers.

Are you seeing the pattern when it comes to strong smells? The ladies do not like them and will move to avoid them.

Contact a professional and allow them to assess the situation and control them.

Most extreme, paint the exterior of your house a dark color.

Otherwise, sit back and relax with them. They may watch a little TV. They’re quiet and don’t eat much. Come to think of it, they could be the best house­guests you could have.

 

Shannon Elliott is general manager of the Elmore County newspapers of Tallapoosa Publishers Inc. Contact her at 334-567-7811. 

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