When, exactly, does Lady Bug season end?
I feel like we have been fighting these little buggers since last summer. I wonder if there is a part of the country that doesn’t know what I’m talking about.
We’ve always been accustomed to swarms of lady bugs in the mountains when temperatures begin to cool in the fall. I don’t remember them so much in the coastal area where we used to live. When we first bought the house we are in, it was just a big garage with a loft but we referred to it as ‘the cabin’. During one of our first weekend stays in the cabin, we were on the deck and saw a brownish cloud coming from the valley below, moving over the trees toward us. At first, we thought it was a cloud of pollen but it was the wrong time of the year. Then the ‘cloud’ reached us and the outside walls of the cabin were soon covered with thousands of lady bugs. The next time we returned to the cabin, the dead lady bugs we swept up filled a large coffee can. But then there seemed to be some years when they were hardly noticeable.
Fast forward ten or twelve years and the beetle invasion is not only ANNUAL, but seems to occupy more than HALF of each year.
It’s debatable if the beetles we are seeing now are true Lady Bugs. They don’t have the same reddish color but rather an orange to yellow to brown shell. Some people refer to them as Asian beetles.
I CAN tell you that they are more intelligent than you would first think.
Because they are CONSTANT, we keep the vacuum in our sun room. If not every day, then every other day, we must suck up all the dead ones on the floor and any of the living ones we can reach. That’s not easy to do when the ceiling is over 14 ft in some places. It’s comical to switch on the vacuum and watch the bugs scurry! As they sense the nozzle moving closer, they scramble for cracks in the tongue-and-groove ceiling to escape the vortex. As soon as you turn the vacuum off, they begin showing themselves again!
Not only are they a nuisance by flying into your face (or drink), but they have a foul odor if you accidentally squish one. If they make it past the sun room, they are prone to gather in the corners at the ceiling where they huddle like a swarm of bees until the room warms up.
It would be nice if they served some purpose but I’m not even sure if they are great pollinators and I’ve never seen them feeding on aphids; they seem so busy just trying to get into the house!
But if there is a bright side to their invasion, it would be that they are not as repulsive as the sting bugs that like to come at the same time.