Why lady beetles enter your house in winter and how to keep them out

In Extension Daily, Alabama Cooperative Extension News

by Sarah Buck, Alabama Cooperative Extension Service

When temperatures begin to drop, the multicolored Asian lady beetle makes a move. Believe it or not, it wants to come inside your home. These orange and black ladybugs are notorious for congregating on the sides of buildings during fall months and moving indoors when given the opportunity. Awareness of the multicolored Asian lady beetle and understanding why it invades homes  is key to preventing an infestation before it begins.

As one of the world’s most invasive insects, the Asian lady beetle ( Harmonia azyridis) is often seen as a pest because of its tendency to enter homes, have an unpleasant odor and leave stains on fabrics or walls. Although the beetle can be a pest, it also serves a valuable role in the environment. Continue reading

Preying on predators

This post comes from Scott Stewart’s UTCrops News Blog. Predators are important in IPM, so I thought this was worth sharing.

Assassin bug and lady beetle

Assassin bug attacking a lady beetle

The critter pictured right is one of the several kinds of assassin bugs found in field crops (family Reduviidae).  Assassin bugs are excellent predators of many insect pests, but this guy didn’t get the memo and is eating an adult lady beetle (another beneficial insect).

Assassin bugs are pretty large, and thus can take down some big prey such as large caterpillars.  Of course, the immature stages are smaller and feed on smaller prey.  The species pictured belongs to the genus Zelus, and it is commonly seen in soybean and cotton.  The adult is about one-inch long.  Assassin bugs will bite, so handle carefully!