Bad Ladybugs Vs. Good Ladybugs in Central New York
Not all ladybugs are cute, harmless creatures who are harbingers of good luck, like the one pictured above. The Asian ladybug is a predator of a number of pest insects, especially aphids, but also has become problematic because it has overtaken native species.
And this particular species of ladybug may also pose a health risk to humans and pets. They can secrete a noxious liquid that can stain or even cause a rash. The Asian ladybug also occasionally bites the hand of humans who believe they are playing with one of the harmless native ladybugs. So, it's important to be able to distinguish one from the other. Here's a helpful post from the Oneida County Public Market:
At first glance, it's difficult to tell the difference between the Asian ladybug and the native ladybugs. The color of the Asian species varies from light tan or orange to bright red, making them almost identical to some of the native species. But a closer look reveals that the Asian ladybug has a white marking behind its head, and what appears to be a black M. Some also have dark black spots, but on others, the spots are very light or nonexistent.
And the "good" version of ladybugs always have seven dots, whereas the "bad" ones have more. Here's a look at one of the "bad" ones:
The best way to control these bugs is to prevent them from entering your home. Seal cracks around windows, doors, utility wires and pipes. If the ladybugs do get in your home, they can be vacuumed, but to avoid staining and odor, do not try to swat or squash the bugs.