The entomologist interviewed on the local news station assured us that they aren’t ladybugs, but Asian Ladybird Beetles. But they certain look like ladybugs to me. I also seem to remember that someone’s library books about ladybugs said that “ladybird beetle” is one of many alternative names for ladybugs. But that professor on the news really seemed sure of himself. Maybe he just meant that they aren’t the local, native variety of ladybugs. He said they were imported years ago to take care of some sort of crop pest…hmm, aphids, anyone? Anyway, I saw it on the news so it must be true, right?
Whatever the entomologists want to call them, we sure do have a lot of them! They seem to have chosen our house as their hibernation location of choice. Since it got a spot on the news, I assume we must not be all that special.
They’ve shown up every year in mid to late November, depending on when we get our first real cold snap. That’s when ladybug season starts in our house. The children wake up one morning to find hundreds of ladybugs, or perhaps Asian Ladybird Beetles, crawling on the ceilings of their rooms. They start to form clumps in the corners of the rooms, right where the ceiling meets the walls in each of the four corners of the room.
It’s really quite an impressive sight to see. I’ve never seen so many ladybugs in one place! The problem always comes a few days later. You see, Texas winter weather is rather notorious for its roller-coaster type behavior. One day, it will get down to 20F. A couple of days later, we’ll be hitting 80 again. A week later, and we’re back down into the 40s. It’s all very confusing for us humans who have a weather forecast to watch. No one gives the poor ladybugs a weather report. It gets warm, and they think it’s time to wake up. I’m sure many of them get back outside, but many of them don’t. This results in a ladybug graveyard that covers the floors of my children’s rooms. But then, it gets cold again. The cycle repeats itself all winter long.
I feel bad for the the ladybugs. It must be confusing for them, living in Texas. I do wish they would stay out of the house. But, it does amuse the children. They spend all winter playing with ladybugs inside. They come and proudly show me all the ladybugs they managed to get to crawl on them at once. But, in a few days time, they will be vacuumed up, off the floor…more sad victims of a Texan “winter”. Hopefully, enough of them will last until spring time, which starts in late February or early March. Goodness knows we’ll need them around by then. There will be pests-a-plenty outside on all of our garden vegetables. A feast ready and waiting for the Asian Ladybird Beetle.
If you have this problem as well, there are some things that can be done to get the ladybugs to find a new home. Check out