Plus a few strategies for keeping them out-of-doors

The ladybug is a notoriously unwelcome guest in homes throughout the South. In cultures across the globe, they’ve come to symbolize prosperity, and it’s been said that finding one of these beetles in your home signals good luck. While the symbolism may seem fortuitous, an infestation in your home can be a pain. If you’re dealing with ladybugs in your home, read on for some helpful information about repelling them.

Are Ladybugs Poisonous?

Ladybugs are not known to be harmful to humans, but in large numbers, they’re recognized as persistent pests, and they can become a nuisance if they breach the windows and walls of your home.

Why Are Ladybugs in My House?

Ladybugs find their way inside because they’re looking for shelters in which to overwinter. That means they’re searching for someplace warm and dry where they can wait out the cold season, and our cozy homes are perfect for those purposes. You’ll occasionally find only one ladybug wandering around inside, but it’s also possible to find many. You’ll notice these so-called colonies of ladybugs scattered around your home or clustered together in one space, usually nestled in corners of attics or basements or near doors and windows.

Why the colonies? When one ladybug finds its way inside, it has a way of signaling to others and drawing them indoors too. Adult ladybugs can release pheromones, scented chemical flares sent out to attract other ladybugs nearby. This chemical signal can take the form of a trail, which invites other ladybugs in via the same path the first ladybug used. This can also lead them to cluster in one location in your home.

How to Get Rid of Ladybugs in Your House

To counter an infestation, here are a few recommendations.

Winterize Your Home:

To keep ladybugs from entering your house in the first place, Terminix recommends winterizing your home: “Make sure doors have adequate weather stripping and that windows have tight-fitting screens. Caulk all potential openings on the outside of your home. If they never get inside, you won’t have to learn how to get rid of ladybugs in the house.” When winterizing your home, ensure you address any potential entry points and seal cracks so that none are visible. This will keep ladybugs from entering your home.

Use Natural Repellents:

Terminix also recommends using natural repellents, including scents such as citronella or citrus oil and herbs including cloves and bay leaves. They also recommend planting mums: “Ladybugs don’t like them, so plant mums near windows and entrance ways. The chemical compound found within these plants acts as a deterrent.”

Prepare a Spray Bottle:

If you decide to use natural repellents, you may want to prepare a spray bottle so that you can deploy your repellents conveniently. Spritzing the citronella or citrus oil solution recommended by Terminix (above) may help to keep lady bugs at bay.

Use a Vacuum Cleaner:

You can use a vacuum cleaner to remove any lingering ladybugs in your home. If they have expired on your windowsills, hardwood floors, or carpeting, you’ll want to vacuum them up so that they don’t stain paint or fabric. When dealing with live ladybugs, you can vacuum them up in order to relocate them outside. The suction action of a vacuum cleaner will ensure they don’t fly away and make their home elsewhere in your space.

There are plenty of ways to take action and counter a ladybug infestation—both professionally and in a DIY fashion—so keep your eyes peeled, and remember that when you see a ladybug in your home, there’s a reason for it, and there’s something you can do to keep more from following suit.