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Asian lady beetle

By: Garden Gate staff
Multicolored Asian lady beetles, or ladybugs, are beneficial, but you might not think so when they swarm your back porch or come indoors for a visit.

asian lady beetles

Harmonia axyridis

Multicolored Asian lady beetles, or ladybugs, are beneficial, but you might not think so when they swarm your back porch or come indoors for a visit. Like the many other species of lady beetles, they feed on aphids and soft-bodied insect pests that attack flowers and vegetables. The best way to identify a multicolored Asian lady beetle from other species is by the distinctive “M” marking on the back just above the colorful wings. These lady beetles vary in color, from green to orange. And the number of spots on their backs varies.

Asian lady beetles don’t feed on wood, fabrics or human food. Nor do they sting, carry diseases or bite, although you may get a startling pinch from one. This pinch does not break the skin and is usually only a problem when your skin is moist on warm days. When you handle Asian lady beetles or step on them, they release a yellowish fluid that’s harmless but smells awful. And it can leave a stain. Always sweep up and dispose of dead beetles. Particles from the dried and crushed bodies can affect people with respiratory problems.

Published: June 30, 2009
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