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Asian Lady Beetles appear to be taking over Quinte area

By Courtenay Modeste [1]

BELLEVILLE – Loyalist College and the Quinte area are having problems controlling some very special ladies.

At first look, many think the orange-brown critters swarming the perimeters of houses and buildings in Belleville are the average ladybug, however they’re not.

These bugs bite, smell, and stain and they’re called the Asian Lady Beetle [2] or Japanese Ladybug.

They where first introduced to the United States as far back as 1916 when they were released into the environment to control the aphid [3] or plant lice population.

The beetles tend to make themselves more known to the public in the fall and winter months. In the cooler months, the beetles go dormant. When the temperature gets to about ten degrees Celsius, the beetles sneak into small holes, cracks and when the opportunity presents itself they will enter a room in large numbers, like through a window.

Danielle Amodeo, Belleville resident and expecting mother, said her house gets really hot so she often opens a window to cool off, but she said she can’t anymore because of the beetles.

“Being hot and pregnant is like the hardest thing in the world to do but then again I don’t want to fall asleep and find one in my mouth or something worse.”

Amodeo said she is fed up with the number of beetles that have taken over her kitchen.

“One day I opened the kitchen window, I went away for not even three minutes. When I got back my kitchen had about 50 ladybugs all over.”

Loyalist student Gabriella MacDonald-Knott, who left her window open overnight, had the same problem.

“ It was actually horrible, I usually don’t mind ladybugs. They will fly very close to your face, they smell really bad and I’m pretty sure I got bit a couple times.”

McDonald-Knott experienced the biology and behaviour of the Lady Beetle. When killed inside, the beetle’s bodily fluids can stain and releases an unpleasant odour. The beetle is also reported to have bitten, or “nibble” humans, but it’s harmless.

“I think it is really gross and the school should really do something about it” McDonald continued.

The best way to get rid of the beetles from the inside is vacuum them off the walls and ceiling. For outdoors, spraying them with a garden hose will do the trick. Otherwise, the beetles go into hibernation until next fall.