The Q&A Archives: Ladybugs In My House

Question: I have ladybugs in my bathroom. Although I like them, I wonder why they're here. Should I be feeding them something? Are they here because I'm a really bad housekeeper?

Answer: Ladybugs are terrific allies in the garden, but not especially welcome indoors. The reason they are there is no reflection upon your skills as a housekeeper. The ladybugs in question are probably Asian ladybugs. They differ from the standard ladybugs in that the imported type are cliff-dwellers. Resident ladybugs usually hibernate during the winter months in the foothills on trees and stumps. Asian ladybugs prefer to hibernate on cliffs. Your house looks like a flat-sided cliff to them. So, when the weather gets cool, they congregate on the sides of your house, up near the eaves, where they are protected. As the outdoor temperatures get colder, they sense the warmth coming from the walls and attic space, squeeze in, and happily spend the winter months in a warm, protected environment. When their internal clocks tell them it's spring, it's time to wake up and fly away, they forget how they got in and try to get out in any way possible. That's why they appear in vents and ceiling fixtures and even electrical outlets. You can sweep them up and send them outdoors, or vacuum them up and empty the bag outdoors. They can be a nuisance inside, but they're really beneficial in the garden, so just shoo them out when they appear.

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