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John Fulton

John Fulton
Former County Extension Director

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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Asian Ladybugs

Posted by John Fulton -

They aren't the "monsters of the deep," but it certainly seems like it to hear some people talk about them. The "them" is the Asian ladybugs. Each day we get a little bit of sun, or slightly warmer temperatures, we have a few more break dormancy and find their way into your coffee cup or inside your reading light.

We had a tremendous buildup of the adult beetles last fall, mainly to prey on the soybean aphids present just before harvest. Then the soybeans died, causing the soybean aphids to die as well. Looking for more food, the ladybugs found their way to your house. There they sought shelter to overwinter, and warmth brings a few of them back to the active status each day. One of these days we will be overwhelmed when the temperatures are warm and the sun shines brightly.

As for what to do, inside the house you suck them up with a vacuum, pick up with toilet paper and flush accordingly, or use the swatter. Larger problems can be helped somewhat with a flying insect spray in an aerosol can to take out the ones it hits. No-pest strips can be used in areas such as three season porches where you aren't spending much time now, but don't use them in areas you frequent. Area sprays on the sides of garages and so forth will be effective soon. You'll still have plenty of the invaders, but you might feel better after getting revenge on their relatives.

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