Ladybugs are swarming house after house in multiple states in the U.S. this October, leaving people wondering: Is my house next?
The ladybugs are arriving rapidly and in large numbers, shocking residents across Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama, among other states.
“They were all over my house when we got home,” said Tiffany Wilson, a Huntsville resident, via Facebook. “Couldn’t even open the front door. It’s awful.”
“There were probably one million of them,” Diane Stroud, a Lebanon, Tennessee resident, told NewsChannel5. “”We were just sitting at home and noticed a few outside. We went out to look and there were tons flying around. We were really shocked.”
“They were all over the porch, the far side of the house, everything was covered,” she added.
David Cook, an entomologist, says that “perfect weather conditions” and a large food population have created the swarming.
“This is a perfect insect storm,” he said. “It will get worse before it gets better. We will need a couple of good, hard freezes to get rid of them.”
Experts say that the bugs are looking for a warm place to live during the winter time. They are attracted to lighter colored walls and upholstery.
“One reason I think we may be seeing more of them is that this summer was so cool and we had a lot more rain,” Harvey Cotten of Huntsville Botanical Gardens explained to WAFF. “We had a lot more foliage growing and we had a lot more bugs like aphids and other insects out there. They were the food source of these ladybugs and so they bred more.”
Sherry Rollings Eudy, a resident of Alabama, said on Facebook that the ladybugs are huge pests.
“They land on your clothes and in your hair and then you bring them into the house with you,” she said. “They stink and they bite. I want them to go back to Asia where they came from.”
“I called the exterminator and they are coming out tomorrow to spray around the whole house,” she added.
So is there any way to tell whether your house is next?
Jim Sain, the general manager of pest control for Murfreesboro-based Ameri Care Services, says no.
There is no rhyme or reason why they choose one home over another,” Sain told the Murfreesboro Post. “You and I can live next door to each other and only one house will be affected.”
Opposing what other experts are saying, Sain said that what people are experiencing are Asian beetles, which are similar to ladybugs.
A key difference is that while ladybugs are always red, the beetles can come in colors including orange and yellow (and red.
His company received a couple hundred phone calls about the bugs in just one afternoon.
There are several ways to try to get rid of them. A popular method is using a vacuum cleaner to suck up as many as possible.
Another method is mixing dishwashing detergent and water and spraying around your house.
Don’t smash the bugs, as they leave a stain.