Asian Lady Beetle Invasion? The term “ladybug” is often used to refer to all the small beetle species that belong to the Coccinellidae family of insects. Spotting these insects in the wild is often exciting for people, and ladybugs are commonly treated with some degree of affection and/or reverence in the United States. However, many Americans are not aware that numerous ladybug species are considered invasive pests within the US. One of the most significant pest species belonging to the ladybug family is known as the Asian lady beetle. These beetles first appeared in New York state in 1994, but other sources claim that the insects were found in the country a decade prior to this. Since their introduction into New York state, these insects have been increasing their presence within and around homes. Although these insects do not bite or spread disease, they can invade homes by the hundreds or more, causing annoyance to homeowners. Luckily, researchers have determined when Asian lady beetles will become numerous enough in the wild to pose a pest problem in homes.
Experts have noted that Asian lady beetles become particularly numerous, and therefore, problematic pests within homes at intervals of every four to five years. This species’ population size varies from year to year and from region to region. Asian lady beetle populations explode for a period of four to five years, but after this period, their populations crash. So far, researchers are not exactly sure what causes these population crashes, but a lack of food, disease, and parasitic infections could be to blame. Several Asian lady beetle researchers believe that their populations remain unusually high for several years before stabilizing. Asian lady beetle populations were particularly high last year, so this year, many New York state residents are hoping for some relief this coming spring and summer. Luckily, this last winter’s long bouts of frigid temperatures may have killed off a sizable amount of Asian lady beetles. However, due to this insect’s ability to seek refuge within homes and buildings during the winter, 2019 may be another ladybug-heavy year for New York state residents. Since the boom and bust of Asian lady beetle population cycles is still a matter of theory, experts are not able to predict with accuracy which years will and will not see an abundance of ladybug infestation cases.
Have you ever discovered a copious amount of ladybugs within your home?