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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, Millipedes, and Box Elder Bugs and keeping them from the home

Posted by John Fulton -

As we get warm spells, we will have the usual "nuisance pests" appear. These include millipedes, Asian ladybugs, ant swarms, box elder bugs, and elm leaf beetles to name a few. Throw in some migrating millipedes, and you can have a real inconvenience. Together they are called nuisance pests because that is what they are. Very few will do any damage to anything, they just cause that feeling of disgust when you find them in the house. The "no damage" comment only applies if you don't smash the insect, because that sometimes leaves a stain on surfaces.

The best controls are foundation sprays using a chemical such as permethrin or bifenthrin, spot sprays of the same chemical to control grouped insects, bait stations, and sticky traps. A combination of methods will actually give the best results, even if they are not perfect. The best control for the Asian ladybeetles and box elder bugsin the home is simply a vacuum cleaner. If you do want to use an insecticide in the house, it should be an aerosol product. Many of the so-called flying insect aerosols contain something for quick knockdown and permethrin, with the latter chemical lasting for up to a month. This combination makes these products ideal to use along baseboards and door thresholds.

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