BENTON, Ark.- “It looked like it was raining but it was the beetles, they were just swarming,” says Dana Hughes, who lives out in rural Saline county.
That was Monday, on Tuesday the bugs were elusive.
“If it warms up again, they’ll probably be back,” says Hughes.
Dr. John Hopkins, an extension entomologist for University of Arkansas says the multi-colored Asian Lady Beetles were brought in by the USDA in the early 1900’s to eat aphids and other plant damaging insects.
They’re often mistaken for lady bugs. The Asian Lady Beetles look very similar except the imported insects have a white area behind the head with a black shape that looks like the letter “M.”
Unlike your garden variety ladybug, the Asian Lady Beetles will bite and they don’t like to be out in the cold.
“It likes to come into our homes and in buildings over winter in vast numbers,” says Dr. Hopkins.
Dr. Hopkins say “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” He encourages sealing up cracks and crevices before the insects arrive for the season to make sure they don’t move in when the weather turns cold.
He says if they do get inside don’t squash them. The beetles leave behind a fluid that stains. Instead use a black light trap to capture them or you can vacuum them up and take out the bag.