How to Get Rid of Ladybugs In Your House

By: Contributors  | 
Four open palms holding ladybugs.
Ladybugs are great in the garden. Not so much when they come into your house. Jupiterimages/Getty Images

Don't let the cute name fool you. Ladybugs may be prettier than the average insect, but they can infest your home and may even bite you. Learning how to get rid of ladybugs is key to preventing an infestation. Depending on the climate where you live, ladybugs can even be a year-round problem. So read the tips below and learn how to get rid of ladybugs in your home.


1. Identify the Type of Ladybug

Before engaging in ladybug control, it's critical to identify the species. The common ladybugs, also known as lady beetles or ladybird beetles are known for their role as beneficial insects in gardens. This is because garden ladybugs are predators of many garden insect pests. In fact, the garden is their natural habitat and you won't find ladybugs invading most homes in North America. That said, they differ significantly from invasive species like the Asian lady beetles. Asian lady beetles are more prone to infest home interiors, particularly during colder months. Recognizing these differences is crucial for effective ladybug infestation management.

So, how can you tell them apart? Well, they look very different! Ladybugs, for example, are bright red and have 11 black spots on their backs. Asian lady beetles, on the other hand, are orange and yellow and have about 19 spots on their back. Another key distinction is the markings on their head. The Asian lady beetle has a black M on their head while ladybugs do not.


2. Seal Entry Points

Asian ladybug species often enter homes through small cracks, gaps around door frames, and through broken window screens. Conducting a thorough inspection of your home's exterior and sealing these potential entry points with weather stripping or duct tape is a vital preventative measure. Be sure to replace or fix window screens too. This step not only keeps invasive ladybugs out but also deters other flying insects, enhancing your home's overall pest defense.


3. Use Natural Repellents

Natural repellents are an excellent way to deter ladybugs without resorting to harsh chemicals. A few drops of citrus oil, known for its strong scent that ladybugs hate, can be mixed with water in a spray bottle and used around potential entry points and infestation areas.

Similarly, another natural repellent, bay leaves can be strategically placed in nooks and crannies, warding off these pesky invaders. You can make small pouches of bay leaves and place them around problem areas. Lady beetles also don't like the scent of whole cloves. Try placing pouches of whole cloves in trouble areas too.


4. Plant Mums in Your Garden

Chrysanthemums, commonly referred to as mums, are not only aesthetically pleasing but also act as natural deterrents against ladybugs. Planting mums in your garden creates a barrier that repels ladybugs, reducing the likelihood of them venturing into your home.


5. Utilize Diatomaceous Earth

If you want to kill ladybugs and other pests like stink bugs, you can use diatomaceous earth. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic powder that effectively combats ladybug colonies.

It's best to sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the home's perimeter and potential entry points. This will allow it to act as a barrier. While diatomaceous earth is lethal to ladybugs, it's safe for humans and pets. This method is particularly effective in dry conditions, as moisture can lessen its impact.


6. Use Dish Soap

Another simple yet effective pest control method to kill ladybugs is using a mixture of water and dish soap. The soap creates a film that suffocates the ladybugs upon contact. This solution can be sprayed directly on the insects or applied in areas where they congregate, offering a quick and environmentally friendly way to address a ladybug infestation.


7. Vacuum Up the Ladybugs

Vacuuming is a swift and efficient method to remove ladybugs from your home. This approach is particularly useful for large-scale infestations where individual removal is impractical. It's important to immediately dispose of the vacuum bag outside, ensuring the ladybugs don't escape back into your home.


8. Create Light Traps

Ladybugs have an attraction to light, so you can also try setting light traps to effectively capture them. These traps use LED light to lure ladybugs into a container from which they cannot escape. Placing these traps in areas with high ladybug activity can significantly reduce their presence in your home.


9. Use Duct Tape

Because ladybugs bite when they're threatened, it's sometimes difficult to physically remove them from your house. Wrap a piece of duct tape around your finger with the sticky side out. Picking up ladybugs with the tape ensures that the ladybugs are evicted from your home without biting you.


10. Use Commercial Ladybug Sprays

For those facing severe ladybug infestations, commercial ladybug sprays offer a potent solution. These sprays, designed specifically for ladybug control, can effectively repel or kill ladybugs. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure safe and effective usage.

11. Call Professional Pest Control

In some cases, calling a professional pest control service may be necessary. These experts have the experience and resources to tackle significant infestations, ensuring your home is free from ladybugs and other garden pests.

Preventing and Controlling Ladybugs

Preventing and controlling ladybug infestations is crucial for maintaining a comfortable and healthy living environment. These insects, while seemingly harmless, can cause damage and discomfort. By implementing these strategies, from natural repellents to professional pest control, you can ensure your home remains a ladybug-free zone, preserving its sanctity and safety.

This article was updated in conjunction with AI technology, then fact-checked and edited by a HowStuffWorks editor.

Ladybugs in a House FAQs

Why do I have so many ladybugs in my house?
Ladybugs usually take shelter indoors because they need a warm and comfortable place to live, especially during the colder months. This is why you get more ladybugs in the house during winters.
Is it bad to have ladybugs in your house?
Ladybugs are not harmful simply because they do not eat fabrics or wood. So they do not cause damage to your furniture or upholstery.
How long do ladybugs live indoors?
This lifespan of a ladybug is one year but they can survive for up to two years in the right conditions. Ladybugs usually seek refuge in homes during the winter when it is cold outdoors.
What do I do about a ladybug infestation?
You can vacuum them up and dispose of the vacuum bag in the trash.