Why Are There Ladybugs In My Knoxville House In December?

Why Are There Ladybugs In My Knoxville House In December?

Ladybugs are beautiful insects that have inspired artists for hundreds of years. When they appear on a flower in your landscaping or on a plant in your garden, they are a welcome sight. These insects help to eliminate plant-damaging insects such as aphids, scale insects and whiteflies. Their efforts to control insects that damage plants have a wider impact as well because many pest insects feed on the honeydew created by aphids, scales and whiteflies. But when ladybugs appear in your home, they can be an unwelcome sight, especially if you’re seeing dozens or hundreds of them during the winter months. Here are some reasons why you’re seeing those little ladies and how you can protect yourself from fall pests like ladybugs.

“Why do I have a lot of ladybugs in my house?”

When temperatures drop, ladybugs congregate on sun-warmed surfaces. They also cling to screens where they sense heat radiating out of a home. When they climb on a home, they often find entry points. Some common entry points for ladybugs are:

  • Holes in window and door screens.
  • Gaps in the weatherstripping around doors and between sliding glass doors.
  • Holes in frames or wood that are created by wood-chewing pests.
  • Cracks in foundation walls, especially around basement windows.
  • Damaged seals around door and window frames.
  • Damaged door sweeps.
  • Gaps around pipes and PVC wire conduit.
  • Chipped mortar on brick homes.
  • Gaps in soffits, fascia, and roof edges.
  • Gaps between chimneys and exterior walls.
  • Holes created by roof rats, squirrels, raccoons and other wildlife that can get on your roof.
  • Doors or windows left open and unprotected.

Another reason you may have ladybugs in your house is that you have lots of vegetation around your home. The more vegetation you have, the more plant-damaging insects you’ll have. This will attract ladybugs. Investing in a residential pest control plan can have an impact on a wide range of insects around your home, including the insects that are food for ladybugs.

Other Questions You May Have About Ladybugs

“Is a ladybug a ladybird beetle?”

If you’ve been told that ladybugs are called ladybird beetles, this is true. But ladybird beetle is more appropriate if you are in England where the term has been used for more than half a century to describe these beetles. The lady to whom the name is referring is the virgin Mary, who was depicted wearing a red cloak in early paintings. The lady beetles indigenous to the United States are more properly called ladybugs.

“Can ladybugs bite you?”

Yes. Ladybugs can bite and they can cause a sharp pain. But ladybugs rarely bite. There is, however, another lady beetle in the U.S. that is prone to biting. It is called the Asian lady beetle.

“What is the difference between ladybugs and Asian lady beetles?”

Asian lady beetles are far more aggressive than ladybugs. This is one of the reasons they are far more plentiful now. You’re more likely to have an infestation of these beetles than you are to have ladybugs in your Tennessee home. You can tell them apart by the black M pattern on the back of the Asian lady beetle.

“Is a ladybug a male or female?”

This is just a little fun fact. While you might expect all ladybugs to be ladies, they are not. There are also “gents” in the ladybug population.

What to Do About Asian lady beetles and Ladybugs

While ladybugs are far more docile than Asian lady beetles, it is not fun to have bugs in your home. If you live in the Greater Knoxville area, contact Russell’s Pest Control for assistance ridding your home of these and other unwanted guests. We’re always standing by to help.

The Invasion Of Fall Pests In Knoxville TN

The Invasion Of Fall Pests In Knoxville TN

As the temperatures cool a bit and the fall season is in full swing, it’s time to start planning and enjoying the upcoming holiday season – not a time when you want to worry about the invasion of fall pests! Four fall pests known to invade Eastern TN and surrounding areas include stink bugs, ladybugs, kudzu bugs, and boxelder bugs. Here are a few ideas for how to avoid a fall invasion of pests in your home.

Stink Bugs

Stink bugs start to enter homes in the fall, but they’re a problem that starts as early as March or April. When scared or squished, stink bugs put out a terrible smell (hence their name!) Stink bugs can be identified by the stripe running from shoulders to the abdomen and their five-sided bodies.


Ladybugs are so prominent in Tennessee that they are the official state insect. The ladybug home invasion usually starts in the third week of October for Eastern TN. They come inside in search of a place to spend the winter and will often be found on the sunny sides of the home.

If you see ladybugs on the outside of your home, use a mild detergent to wash the areas and remove any material that may be attracting the ladybugs to that area of your home.

Kudzu Bugs

Often mistaken for a beetle, the kudzu bug has a beaklike piercing mouthpart, which they use to suck juices from plants. You won’t notice these bugs in the summer, but as fall arrives and the temperatures begin to drop a bit – kudzu bugs will find sun-exposed surfaces of your home to sun themselves and wait for an opportunity to get inside. When disturbed, kudzu bugs will release a foul smelling chemical, and if you have hundreds of these bugs indoors the smell can be overpowering!

Boxelder Bugs

If a boxelder bug comes into your home, chances are hundreds more will join them! Especially during the fall when they are in search of a place to wait out the winter. The boxelder tree is the primary home for these pests. Boxelder bugs can damage fruits and trees. Inside, boxelder bugs smell foul and are unpleasant due to their large populations! You can reduce their living areas outside to keep them from coming near your home in the first place. Remove landscaping debris, wood piles, loose siding, and loose tree bark from around your home to reduce areas where the boxelder bug can hide out.

Preventing the Fall Invasion

All of these pests find their way into your home via small cracks and openings. Caulking around window frames, doors, and all of the possible gaps of your home (utility pipes, outdoor faucets, etc.) can help prevent ladybugs, boxelder bugs, kudzu bugs, and stink bugs from getting inside. Also, check for broken screens and remove window air conditioners so the bugs cannot find their way in around them.

If you continue to have trouble with a fall invasion of pests, give us a call. We’ll help you eliminate your fall pests and put a plan in place to prevent them from returning.

How To Prepare For… The Invasion Of The Ladybugs!

How To Prepare For… The Invasion Of The Ladybugs!

When you hear the words, “The invasion of…” what do you expect to follow? Maybe you think of “The invasion of aliens,” or “The invasion of Normandy,” or perhaps that old movie from the 50’s called, “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” These all sound pretty intense. But do you ever think about ladybugs invading? The invasion of the ladybugs! It just doesn’t have the same scare factor that those other things. But do you want these bugs inside your home, especially considering that when they do come in, they bring a whole lot of their friends?

The bad news is that in not too many weeks, the temperatures will begin to drop, and insects will begin to seek the warmth of our homes. The good news is that it is not too late to start preparing for “The invasion of the ladybugs.” Consider taking the following steps to keep ladybugs, and other invading insects, out of your home.

  • If you already have ladybugs crawling around inside your home, get a vacuum or dustbuster, and suck them up. Then go to work on making your property less attractive to them and sealing any places where more could get inside.
  • Keep your trash in tightly sealed containers. Ladybugs love exposed trash. In fact, all bugs love exposed trash. So do rodents and wildlife.
  • Never leave food outside, not even your pet’s food. This will definitely draw bugs onto in.
  • Keep clutter to a minimum. Remove as much as possible and, if you need to keep some items, consider storing them away from your home. Bugs love places to hide and tend to congregate in clutter.
  • Store woodpiles or construction materials away from your home as well.
  • Keep outside lights off at night or replace outside bulbs with yellow, insect-resistant bulbs. Ladybugs and other flying insects are drawn in by light.
  • Draw your shades at night. This will also reduce the chances of luring insects close to your home.
  • Examine the outside walls of your home, and use a caulking gun to seal any cracks there. Make sure to seal around the places where pipes, wires, or air conditioning units enter your home.
  • Inspect all of your window and door screens and make sure they are present and in good repair.
  • Install, or check, all door sweeps and make sure they are making a good connection all the way across.
  • Place window grade screens over all chimneys and vents to the outside.
  • Have your exterior walls, or perimeter, treated by a pest control professional from Russell’s Pest Control.

If you have done all you can, but you are still getting ladybugs in your home, or you don’t want to do all the hard work of keeping them out, consider pest services from Russel’s Pest Control. With more than 40 years of experience getting rid of, and sealing out household pests, we are happy to help. Don’t let yourself be the victim of a ladybug invasion this fall! Reach out to Russel’s Pest Control today.

5 Ways To Prevent Lady Bugs & Stink Bugs From Over Wintering In Your Home

5 Ways To Prevent Lady Bugs & Stink Bugs From Over Wintering In Your Home

Did you know that stink bugs and ladybugs like to hibernate in the cold winter months? Hibernating is not just for bears anymore! Well, bugs don’t really ‘hibernate’ per say, they ‘over winter’. They basically try to find a warm place to rest and wait until spring. Your home is a perfect place for them to over winter. They certainly will be trying to get in to do just that. Here are some tips on how to keep them from overwintering in your house!

Seal up all cracks and crevices in window and door frames and sills. The wood trim around windows and doors can move and crack over time and these spaces are perfect entrance points for insects. Seal these up with some caulking or expanding foam.

Repair or replace damaged weather stripping around doors and windows. New windows and doors have nice foam or brush weather stripping that helps them to make a good seal when closed. Unfortunately, these important window and door components get torn, damaged and removed over time. Most weather stripping is easily replaced. Check with your window and door manufacturer for specifics.

Repair or replace any damaged insect screens on your door and windows. Even just a small tear is an open invitation for insects. Ladybugs and stink bugs are tiny enough to find their way in through the smallest of tears.

Fill or repair any cracks or holes in your basement wall. Insects and small rodents will find their way in through any imperfection in your basement.

Check all attic, roof, gable and eave vents for screening. Screening in these important areas will prohibit all insects from entering this stealthy way. This area is often overlooked.

As winter approaches, don’t let your house become a hibernating or over wintering home for any insect! Take these easy steps to sealing up all their entrances and enjoy a stink bug or lady bug free home this winter. If overwintering lady bugs or stink bugs are a problem for you, please call the Knoxville pest control professionals at Russell’s Pest Control and we can protect your home from these unwanted winter residents.

Stink Bugs And Lady Bugs: The Hassles Of A Mild Winter

Because of our mild winter, we at Russell’s Pest Control were getting calls from homeowners in Knoxville, Maryville, Lenoir City, and other surrounding cities throughout early February for pest problems ranging from ants to mice to meal moths. One thing is for sure: This winter has (so far) proven to be milder than the record-breaking cold seasons we’ve had in the past few years. Before we gear up for the spring-time swarmers, I wanted to warn you about the critters that you may be finding in your southern windows on these sunny afternoons.

You haven’t forgotten about stink bugs or lady beetles, have you? We usually try to post about them in the late summer or early fall because that’s the time to get treatments for these overwintering pests. The term “overwintering pest” just means a bug that hibernates through the cold weather inside your warm wall voids or attic. On nice, sunny days in late winter or early spring, they start to emerge and make their way outside. Unfortunately, their sense of direction is not so impressive just after they wake up. All of the ladybugs and stinks bugs that you find inside your house are just lost. They were trying to get back to the open air, and they took a wrong turn through a crack under your baseboard or through one of your light fixtures.

There is just nothing pleasant about sharing space with these bugs, particularly if you have them in large numbers. Both species give off a very unpleasant odor when you squish them, and ladybugs pack a surprisingly sharp (though harmless) bite for bugs of their size. If you’ve got them in your house now, there’s nothing you can do but buckle down and ride out the insect exodus. Do not spray an over-the-counter pesticide inside your wall voids to try to kill them there. That will only draw predator bugs in large numbers to feed on the ones you kill.

Use your vacuum with a hose attachment to suck up groups of stink bugs or ladybugs that you find inside. Be sure to either empty the canister in an outside trashcan or remove the bag and put it outside. The bugs don’t die when they are vacuumed up and will just walk back out into the house if you leave the bag inside.

Although we at Russell’s Pest Control will not do a wall void treatment to kill the stinkbugs and ladybugs that are already in the house, we would be glad to help you handle any predator pests like spiders, centipedes, or rodents that may show up to hunt the overwintering pests. We can give you safe coverage during the high-pressure pest months that are coming this spring and summer and then do a thorough treatment this fall to work on keeping out next year’s stink bugs and ladybugs. In other words, we can protect your home from pests year round so you don’t have to worry about it. Give us a call, or visit our contact page, if that sounds like the sort of help you need.

Ladybugs: Unwanted Winter Pests

As our evenings grow colder, it’s time for East-Tennesseans to start thinking about ladybugs (or Asian lady beetles). These pests enter homes during the fall and then emerge when the days get warmer. The trouble is that they sometimes get lost and enter the home instead of heading back outside—much to the dismay of their surprised hosts!

Although they’re frustrating, these bright little bugs prey on some of the most destructive plant pests. In fact, the USDA has released loads of them onto crops that were endangered by pests (which partially explains why ladybugs invade houses so often now: their numbers have been artificially inflated). Still, Asian lady beetles may be the hero of the garden, but they’re less welcome inside. Finding bugs all over the house is generally upsetting, but these also produce yellow ooze when threatened (or smashed) that stains, and, although it’s hard to believe, they can actually deliver a painful bite!

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, exclusion is always the best place to start with pest management. Ladybugs choose a structure for overwintering and then start to search for cracks or crevices. If your home is well-sealed, the beetles will be forced to move on. Screens in attic and roof vents should be carefully checked since ladybugs find the high points of two-story buildings appealing and often enter homes through attics. Are there cracks in your siding? Openings underneath your doors? Holes around your plumbing connections? These are all situations that ladybugs will exploit.

Don’t forget: If we’re getting consistent frosts at night, it’s too late to act. The ladybugs are already inside, so the best thing you can do is get a vacuum with a hose attachment ready. Vacuuming up ladybugs and taking the bags outside is the best way to get rid of the ones that are inside, even though the smell won’t be good. If ladybugs are in the house, DO NOT find an exterminator to treat your attic or wall voids. Killing the bugs inside does you no good because the smell will be terrible, and the dead bugs will create a food source for other, more offensive pests. If you want to have a pest control treatment for ladybugs, hire a professional before the frosts set in and save yourself a lot of hassle.