Asian lady beetles have swarmed Tennessee homes. The ladybugs are covering houses throughout areas of the state and are attracted to light colored structures for warmth as outdoor temperatures drop. Entomologist and Davidson County Extension Agent explained the swarms to WTVF Newschannel 5, "We have perfect weather conditions, and a large food population...This is a perfect insect storm." Lebanon resident Diane Stroud was hit with the 'insect storm' saying, "There were probably one million of them…They were all over the porch. I mean the whole porch was completely covered…I mean, it was almost completely black with ‘em." Ken Thompson, another Tennessean in Madisonville dealing with the insects told WBIR, "The ladybugs come from the north, over here, and it looked like a big swarm of hornets coming. And about 12 o'clock, they covered this whole side of the house from that side, all the way around."
David Cook said, “Some of our other county agents have called in and say, ‘What’s the deal with these? All of a sudden they just show up.’” The entomologist gave his assurance that the bugs are harmless but they have, “a very foul odor and a very bitter taste and so this protects these insects from being preyed on by lizards and birds.” Experts say the invasion will not end until several cold snaps cause the insects to die naturally. Guy Wilson of Wilson County told WKRN News 2, “Well I don’t like cold snaps, but uh, yeah, I’d like to see them go ‘cause it’s be a bit of a problem if we have to keep cleaning them up every, every day.” Adam Weckesser of Dayton’s Pest Control gave this helpful cleanup tip, "Pantyhose on the inside of a vacuum and so you suck ‘em into a vacuum and then you can throw the pantyhose away, and you can kind of collect them this way ‘cause once they get into the bag, it's just going to stink up."
Swarms of the Asian lady beetles have also been reported throughout the Midwest, parts of the Northeast and Canada. For those that are fond of insects, pest control experts say that there are more to come, as kudzu bugs are likely to follow.
- Nature & Environment