How can you tell if it’s an Asian ladybird beetle?
Differentiating between an Asian ladybird beetle and a European one can be quite challenging due to their similar appearances. However, upon closer inspection, there are a few distinguishing characteristics. Asian ladybird beetles have a reddish-orange body color, unlike the brighter hue of European ladybird beetles. Additionally, the number of black dots on their bodies varies, with Asian ladybird beetles having anywhere from 0 to 19 dots, while European ladybird beetles usually have two or seven dots. Size is also a factor, as Asian ladybird beetles are larger, measuring between 5 and 7 millimeters. Despite these differences, both species share a diet primarily consisting of aphids, with Asian ladybird beetles able to consume up to 200 aphids per day compared to the native species' 30 to 50.
Invasion of Asian ladybird beetles in autumn: Why?
Asian ladybird beetles are attracted to wooded environments and tend to invade houses near orchards and vineyards. In gardens, they can be found on trees and bushes. With global warming and milder temperatures, these beetles have become widely dispersed, especially in autumn when grapes are ripe. Apart from aphids, their preferred diet also includes juicy fruits, scale insects, and their larvae. Unfortunately, the massive arrival of this voracious insect has led to a 40% decrease in the population of local species. Asian ladybird beetles are not only known for their voracity but also exhibit cannibalistic behaviors.
This beetle's infestation on grapes has become particularly problematic. When attached to grapes, they excrete a substance that alters the taste of wine. In winter, Asian ladybird beetles seek warm places to hibernate, often entering buildings and homes in groups. They can be found on ceilings, walls, and window casings, releasing alarm pheromones to communicate with their fellow invaders.
The Asian ladybird beetle, a helpful or harmful insect in the garden?
The Asian ladybird beetle may assist in eliminating aphids in the garden, which is beneficial for controlling pest populations. However, this voracious insect can also pose a threat to local species. While gardeners may appreciate its aphid-eating capabilities, experts in nature conservation are concerned that the Asian ladybird beetle may outcompete indigenous ladybird beetles over time, leading to imbalances in the ecosystem.
Is it dangerous for humans?
The Asian ladybird beetle is not dangerous for humans. However, when agitated or threatened, they can release a yellowish liquid from their leg joints that may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. It is advisable to avoid touching or disturbing these beetles.
What is its life cycle?
The life cycle of the Asian ladybird beetle consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. After mating in the spring, the female lays clusters of yellow eggs on plants infested with aphids. Each female can lay hundreds of eggs during her lifetime. The eggs hatch into larvae, which undergo several molts before entering the pupal stage. In the pupal stage, the larvae transform into adults. The entire life cycle can be completed within a few weeks, and Asian ladybird beetles can have multiple generations in a single year.
Asian ladybird beetle: How to get rid of it? Tips + video
If you are dealing with an infestation of Asian ladybird beetles in your home or garden, there are several methods you can try to control their population:
- Physical removal: Use a vacuum cleaner or broom to remove ladybird beetles from indoor areas. For outdoor areas, you can use a brush or your hands to gently collect them and relocate them away from your property.
- Sealing entry points: Inspect your home for any cracks or openings where ladybird beetles can enter and seal them off to prevent further infestation.
- Remove food sources: Since ladybird beetles are attracted to aphids and ripe fruits, it is important to eliminate these food sources to discourage their presence. Regularly monitor and control aphid populations in the garden and harvest fruits before they become overly ripe.
- Use insecticides: If the infestation is severe and other methods have been unsuccessful, you can consider using insecticides labeled for ladybird beetles. Follow the instructions carefully and consider the environmental impact of any chemicals used.
It is important to note that when attempting to get rid of ladybird beetles, it is best to focus on prevention and control rather than complete eradication. Ladybird beetles play a beneficial role in natural ecosystems by controlling aphid populations. Therefore, it is advisable to maintain a balanced approach to pest control and seek advice from local experts for specific recommendations.
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