Ladybugs are a gardener’s little friend. They eat other pests that destroy plants.
That is great, but they belong outside, not inside. If you get a ladybug problem inside, you may want to do something about it. Ladybugs are harmless indoors, but they can still be a pest. They can stain walls, and fabrics. When they die, especially en mass, they will develop a smell. They are bugs and will be into EVERYTHING, including foods.
As the weather warms, they begin to come out of hiding and gravitate toward light colored areas.
Each year about this time, my office gets overrun by these little creatures. While there are many ways to rid your home of ladybugs, not all of them can apply to my office.
It is worth noting that there are several species of ladybugs. This instructable will address the orange-shelled variety known as Asian Lady Beetles.
Step 1: Methods for Home
The following methods could be utilized if the infiltration is in your home:
The first method is prevention.
Sealing up cracks in doors and along windows will prevent them from getting in. My office is on the top floor of a hospital, and the windows are solid mounted. The Facilities and Maintenance Department has done all they can, but they still get in.
Next method, remove them.
They can be vacuumed up or swept out, but that will only take care of the immediate problem. It will not keep them out. They will return.
Third method, kill them.
There are many harsh chemicals and pesticides that can be used to kill them and create a barrier to prevent them from entering. Some of the recommenced products to use are diatomaceous earth, a powder to sprinkle around the base of your home outside, and pyrethroids, a liquid pesticide to spray all door, window and roof line edges, again, outside the home. For my office, there are very strict guidelines to what chemicals can be used. So, for me, that option is off the table, but you can try it for your home.
Step 2: Office-Safe Methods
Best option, is to drive them out with strong smells.
- Lemon scent
- Peppermint scent
Burning strong scented candles will drive them out. Unfortunately, I cannot burn candles in my office, because fire in hospitals are just not a good idea.
There are other strong scented techniques that do work.
I began by adding a few drops of peppermint and lemon oil onto cotton balls and placed the cotton balls in the corners of the windows where I noticed they are the thickest. Within the hour, they moved from that area. They migrated to another area. Since I have a large area to drive them away from, I needed something stronger.
Next, I tried wiping the windows down with an ammonia based window cleaner. This also helped remove them from the windows, but they still remained around the ceiling and walls.
Step 3: Alternate Method
The final and most successful method I tried was, I made some small satchels with bay leaves and cloves. Simple ingredients I bought in the spice rack aisle in my local grocery store.
- I cut circles about 6 inches round from thin fabric. Cheese cloth works well.
- I broke up some of the leaves and placed them on the center of the cloth circle.
- I tied it off with string.
- I hung them at the top edge of the window with a suction cup hook.
- I repeated the process using whole cloves in another satchel.
They cloves and bay leaves scent filled much of my office and drove out most of the ladybugs.
So there you have it.
A few different methods to rid your environment, (whether home or work) from an infestation of ladybugs.
And as always, thank you for checking out my Instructable!
Runner Up in the
Pest Control Challenge