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Who would have ever thought that such an endeared insect could cause such a commotion.  Among the most familiar of  beetles, they are readily recognized by their round,  generally small  spotted bodies .  colors range from shiny red, orange, or yellow with black markings, or black with red or yellow markings.  They are all voracious predators, mostly of aphids.  During the middle ages, these beetles little beetles managed to rid grapevines of insect pests hence, they were dedicated to "Our Lady".  They are no less the state insect of six states in the United States.  How could such a wonderful little bug suddenly fall from praised predator to insect pest?   Enter the Asian Ladybug( Harmonia axyridis)  imported into the United States by the agriculture industry to help curtail crop destroying insects.  These Asians will prey on some forms of insects our natives will not touch.   Unfortunately, these bugs don't like the cold weather winter brings.  They chose to hibernate inside buildings,  rather than under bark and leaf litter like our native Ladybugs.   The invasion into some homes is so vast that people actually resort to vacuum cleaners to get rid of them.   The Asian bugs  have no natural enemies in North America.   If you want to get rid of them, check with your state lawmakers to be sure they are not protected.  To my knowledge they are not considered an endangered species, although the native Lady Bug population appears to be diminishing in some areas.   All Ladybugs secrete a fluid that is foul smelling, and it is claimed foul tasting, but who do you suppose has tasted one?  People often claim they have been bitten or stung by them.  Lady Bugs do not have stingers.    The truth is some people are sensitive to the yellow foul smelling fluid  they secrete when it comes in contact with their skin.   




Convergent Ladybug

Seven Spotted Ladybug

Orange wing covers, six small black spots on each , # of spots can vary to no spots.  Two converging white lines on head (hence the name)   Over winters in sheltered locations outdoors. Red wing covers, 7 black spots.  Over winters in hedges or leaf litter on ground. 

  Various colors and numbers of spots (see chart above)  Over winters inside homes and buildings if they can find a place to enter.

Nine Spotted Ladybug

Wing covers yellowish red or orange with 9 black spots or spotless.  Body shape almost hemispherical.  Over winters in hedges or leaf litter on ground.

Wing Covers orange-red with two black spots.  Head and thorax black marked with yellow.  Western version has a white head with an M shaped mark.  Winters around buildings or other protected buildings.    

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