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Biological Control : A Guide to Natural Enemies in North America Anthony Shelton, Ph.D., Professor of Entomology, Cornell University

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Lady Beetle Special:

Lady beetle, lady beetle fly away from my home!

by web site editors

Almost everyone knows lady beetles eat many nuisance pests such as aphids and scale insects. Since they help reduce the density of pest insects, they are often called "beneficial insects" or "biological control agents". Several species of lady beetles have been introduced into the U.S. from other countries over the last century and have proven effective in controlling pest insects on farms and in gardens.

However, in the last couple of years, we have had many e-mails from people in several parts of the United States and Canada describing how lady beetles have invaded their homes and become a nuisance to them. People have reported that the lady beetles "bite", give off a bad smelling fluid when disturbed, and may even cause people to develop allergies. While many people recognize their value as beneficial insects and do not want to kill them, they also do not want them as nuisances in and around their homes.

Most lady beetles do not become nuisances to people, however, the multicolored Asian lady beetle (MALB) can. Based on the descriptions people supply us with, in those cases when a lady beetle has become a pest we believe it is the MALB.

For further information on MALB and a strategy to control them, click here.

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