Asian Lady Beetles are a native of Eastern Asia, also known as harmonia axyridis which is a large coccinellid beetle. Their colors range from yellow-orange to black with spots. They were introduced to the United States in an attempt to control the spread of aphids. The easiest way to identify them is by the marking on the head that looks like the shape of either a W or an M.
They typically invade homes in October in preparation for overwintering. They become dormant in the cooler months and will move around when the temperature reaches about 50 degrees. They will use crevices and cool, dry confined spaces to overwinter. If there is a large enough opening they could congregate in significant numbers inside the walls. Even on cold winter days, the solar heating could wake them up and they will often congregate in sunlit areas for the heat. They will form groups that tend to stay in the upper corners of windows and they are also attracted to dark screening material for its warmth. Once removed it will come back due to the beetles good eyesight. They will only produce a small bite if provoked. When agitated they release hemolymph from their legs which has a foul odor similar to that of dead leaves. Other than slight irritation the bites are not harmful as only a very small number of people are allergic to them.
The most common control methods are first to seal any openings where they may be entering and then remove them by either sweeping or carefully vacuuming them. Insecticides are usually applied to the exterior as well. Treatments that focus on eaves, soffits, attics are the typical method of areas to help control and prevent your home from becoming a spot to overwinter. Call All Seasons, All Pests for a free inspection for your home if these pests have declared your home theirs.