Your nose and eyes itchy? These nasty little beetles might be the cause.

Don’t be fooled, Asian lady beetles, also known as multicolored Asian lady beetles or Harmonia axyridis, may look cute, but they can infest your home. Although these bugs bite, they are not generally harmful to humans or pets. They are, however, an invasive pest here in Maine.

If you disturb an Asian lady beetle—especially if you swat or squash it—it will emit a foul-smelling, yellowish fluid. This liquid is actually the insect’s blood, which can permanently stain clothing, carpets, curtains, and walls. Thankfully, the annoying secretion is not poisonous to humans.

But wait—here’s another nuisance you should be aware of: some people may have allergic reactions to the Asian lady beetle, including itchy nose and eyes, asthma, welts, and swelling. The good thing is: these insects are generally passive and only bite when searching for moisture or food.  

If you’re starting to see orange or yellow “ladybugs” near your home, it’s time to take action before they create an infestation. Insects enter your home through cracks, spaces, tears, rips, or openings, or sometimes they fly right through an open door. Be prepared by replacing damaged windows and door screens and sealing cracks around your home.

To catch those that got in, you can vacuum them up (seal and discard the bag so the once-captive lady beetles don’t try to fly back into the house) or find products you can use outdoors that kill and repel Asian lady beetles. Most commercial indoor pesticides do very little to deter this particular insect. Sometimes, though, targeted insecticides applied outdoors can prevent the insects from taking up residence in your home.

You can also find special light bulbs that are treated with beetle pheromone that lures the pests into an unescapable water tank.

While these pests are not known to transmit disease, they sure are a nuisance, and we hope these tips will help these pests find somewhere else to call home!

Wondering about an allergy? Click here for more information.