Ladybugs are small beetles that are extremely beneficial in gardens, where they attack and eat aphids on plants. Since the aphids can harm desirable plants and can also attract ants, every gardener wants ladybugs in the backyard. However, sometimes ladybugs come into the house to hibernate during the cold winter, and that can be a problem. Ladybugs do not bite and are harmless to people, but that doesn't make them welcome in the living room.
A ladybug infestation in the home can be treated using home remedies rather than commercial insecticides that contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to people and the environment. It's always better to opt for a natural approach to removing ladybugs from the home.
Step 1: Removing Large Numbers of Ladybugs
Use a shop vacuum with a new bag to vacuum up ladybugs from indoor surfaces. Use the hose attachment to suck up ladybugs from tight spaces such as window sills and along baseboards. Once you are done, release the ladybugs outdoors, preferably in a garden area.
Step 2: Removing Individual Ladybugs
Pick up any remaining ladybugs with your fingers (you can skip the vacuum cleaner altogether if there are only a few of the bugs). Ladybugs do not bite, so there is no danger in picking them up. Release the ladybugs in the garden where they can find food and shelter.
Step 3: Prevention
There are several methods you can use to prevent ladybugs from entering your home or to chase them away:
- Ladybugs do not like the chemical compounds found in chrysanthemums, so planting beds and pots of mums beside windows and near entryway will deter these bugs.
- Place cloves or bay leaves in your window sills, around doors and baseboards, in light fixtures, and anywhere else you notice the ladybugs. The smell of these herbs is also known to chase ladybugs.
- Purchase a few lemon-scented candles and burn them in the areas where you notice ladybugs. Burn them as often as possible to drive out the ladybugs.
- As a last resort, place double-sided tape or sticky strips along baseboards, window sills, corners and other places where you see ladybugs. This will trap the ladybugs before they enter your home.
- Keep ladybugs out of the house by sealing any holes in the siding and foundation. Be sure to repair damaged clapboards, and window and door trim, and to caulk small cracks.
Kimbry Parker has been writing since 1998 and has published content on various websites. Parker has experience writing on a variety of topics such as health, parenting, home improvement and decorating. She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication.