View Full Version : earwigs and lady bugs

03-07-2001, 04:51 PM
Any one have problens with these?
How do you get rid of them?

JJ Lawn
03-07-2001, 05:34 PM
Haven't seen an earwig in years so can't help you there.

But what kind of problem could you possibly be having with lady bugs?? They are one of the best natural predators of other insects there is. IMO.


John DiMartino
03-07-2001, 06:20 PM
We had a infestation of lady bugs last year in a developement about 5 miles away-there were literally millions of them,inside and out of the house,on any one wall there were at least 1000 of them.On of my friends had them-I have never seen them like that-and honestly if it were my house id spray them too-i cant see the food supply being there for that many of them.

03-07-2001, 07:17 PM
Depends on where the earwigs are - inside or outside. With ladybugs you just wait a few days and they`ll be gone. Ladybugs are by nature solitary, but they hibernate as a community. If they are visible now and moving, they are just waking up for spring, and will disappear in a few days.

03-07-2001, 09:34 PM
Thanks for the replies.
I personal don't have any problem them but there are alot of people in the area that do.

03-07-2001, 09:54 PM
I don't know anything about earwigs, but you don't want to get rid of the lady bugs, they are the most benificial insect there is to have in a garden.

03-07-2001, 10:52 PM
I always say to the ones that cant take the sight of ladybugs to suck them up with a vaccum and empty the bag far from the house.

03-07-2001, 11:18 PM
What you are seeing MAY not be ladybugs. They are a close relative called the ladybeetle. They look just like the ladybug except for the spots on the back of the head. The beetle has a white spot formation on the back of their head, while the ladybug does not. Thay are also just a teeny bit different in color, too. The ladybug is very beneficial to the gearden, as they feed mostly on harmful insects. The ladybeetle, on the other hand, does not feed on most harmful insects, and as a matter of fact, they BITE! I have never in my life been biten by a ladybug, and this past year, I was bit a few different times. That is when I did a little research, and found out what was happening. Here in Michigan, we were being overrun by these little imposters and they were found EVERYWHERE! Shortly after I found this out, there was a story on the news about them explaining the situation. This has been a public service announcement. :)

GreenQuest Lawn
03-07-2001, 11:18 PM
Earwigs are beneficial insects also They eat Mostly other insects. But get a bad name cause of how ugly they are. We have a problem with lady bugs here too but not the native ones. The european lady bugs (i think that is where they come from) are more orange in color rather than dark red as are the native lady bugs. Turns out they breed like crazy but are wimps when it comes to the cold. They swarm around my house in fall and you cant be outside without them all over you on cold days. The floor of my garage has hundreds of dead ones that just cant survive the cold.

03-07-2001, 11:23 PM
We had lots of Earwigs last year in central NC. I read a few things about them last year because everyone was calling the Ag agnet here and asking about them. I've got a lawn workshop to attend Sat. I'll try to ask about them. We had them in our house. You don't want to know how they got their name. I couldn't sleep for a few nights after hearing it.

Jet boater
03-08-2001, 01:04 PM
We have a log cabin down in the Dale Hollow area that is not tightly sealed and Ladybugs are a HUGE problem! I mean HUGE PROBLEM!!!

Going to the cabin after a few weeks of being gone, there are literally thousands of LB's dead on the floor. We spend the first couple of hours with a vacuum to clean up.

Next trip, I'm going armed with some of the stuff recommended here.


PS - Prior to emptying your vacuum outside, spray some bug killer in the bottom (shop vac) to kill the live ones off before you empty.

Oh, I didn't mention there's scorpions also in Southern KY.

03-08-2001, 01:40 PM
Ladybugs (a.k.a. lady beetles, ladybeetles) are mainly predatory beetles in the family Coleoptera. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of different ladybugs/ladybeetles/lady beetles in numerous genus and species. One single species will be predatious on very specific insects at specific life stages. The first use of biological controls in the USA was the import of a certain ladybug species from Australia to control a scale insect problem in CA orange groves. Was over 110 yrs ago.

Perhaps there is an insect that people confuse with ladybug/beetles that does bite. Perhaps this is just another urban legend. Perhaps there is a better name for the insect you refer to. Common names are often a problem in understanding.

Please post a link to your information so we can learn more. Ladybugs/beetles are about the most beneficial natural controls of damaging insects. Disparging comments about them are usually grossly incorrect.

03-08-2001, 03:26 PM
Here is a bunch of stuff from gardening message boards:

I had good luck one year by spraying the foundation of my house with really soapy water. They don't like that at all. Also, I make some small 8"x 10" boards, cut cracks in the bottom and laid them, crack side down under the steps. each morning i would drop the boards into a bucket of soapy water.. the earwigs didn't like that at all.

Earwigs can be controlled without chemicals by rolling up 2-3 newspaper pages into a long tubular roll. Lay it (or several) on the ground where you saw the earwigs. Wet newspaper throughly, & leave overnight. There will be many earwigs inside it in the morning. Place it with bugs inside in a plastic bag and tie or seal (or double bag it) so they can't escape, then dispose.
The key is, you MUST make sure they don't crawl out! Do this each night, until they're gone.

However, if you want to shift the balance without having to cop out with chemicals, you can use short lengths of that leaking hose that was never thrown out. Leave pieces around the plants and in the morning, they're jammed with earwigs that you can just tap into a bucket of soapy water (20:1)Reusable and easy.

Go out again at night with a sprayer filled with soapy water (2-3 TB per gallon of Murphy's Oil soap, or even better, buy Safer's and mix according to directions.

The earwigs will be out and doing their munching. Hit them with the soapy water and they will die very quickly.

During the day, you can go out with the soapy water and spray crevices and cracks (especially in wood fences, wood siding, etc.) with soapy water. The earwigs will die.

Drench wood or bark mulch with soapy water. The earwigs will die.

Make earwig traps with bits of small-diameter plastic tubing or cut pieces of hose. Carry a small bucket of soapy water around to the traps and knock the earwigs out into the bucket. The earwigs will die.

Get some old plastic food tubs. Make one ortwo holes half-way up the side of the container. Barely cover the bottom with a bit of soy sauce. Add enough vegetable oil to float a layer over the soy sauce. Nestle these into shady areas. The earwigs will crawl in and die. (Fasten them to a stake or put a brick on top of them to prevent larger, furrier creatures from knocking the tubs over.)

- 1 tbsp each of vegetable oil, molasses, and soy sauce. I put some in two cans, and placed the cans in the garden. This morning, both to my horror and delight, both cans are FULL of dead earwigs!!!

We had the same problem and tried all sorts of tricks. Finally we put out small plastic containers (one set with vegetable oil and another with beer). The next morning they were full of a collection of dead earwigs, snails and slugs. Yuck.
Now that we have been doing this for a few weeks the problem has almost gone away. Yeah!

http://www.atlanticextermco.com/Earwigs.htm (Earwigs, by Whitney S. Cranshaw - Colorado State University Cooperative Extension entomologist and associate professor, entomology)

http://www.extension.unr.edu/MGnews/MGnews4.html (University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Master Gardener's Newsletter, Earwigs Article)

http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/bugreview/earwigs.html (University of Illinois Cooperative Extension, "The Bug Review", about earwigs)

http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/~insect/veg/ringlegged_earwig.htm (ringlegged earwig, Introduction - Distribution - Host Plants - Life Cycle and Description - Damage - Natural Enemies - Management - Selected References )

Re: The multicolored asian ladybeetle

By Doug Landis, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University (Adapted from a 1995 Pennsylvania State University fact sheet by Steven B. Jacobs and Daniel A. Emmén.)

In September and October homeowners may notice lady beetles found clustered on exposed, south-facing walls and occasionally entering houses or other structures in large numbers. The species most frequently aggregating in structures is the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis. A native of eastern Asia, including Japan and Korea, the multicolored Asian lady beetle was first noticed in Michigan around 1993. During the summer months this beetle is primarily arboreal (tree dwelling) where it is an important predator of aphids and scale insects. Although attempts were made by the USDA to introduce this beneficial insect in the 1970' and 80's, those attempts failed and the population we now have is thought to have naturally spread from a source accidentally introduced from a ship in the port of New Orleans, LA.

Multicolored Asian lady beetles adults measure approximately 9/32 inch (7 mm) long and 7/32 inch (5.5 mm) wide. They are oval or convex in shape, and yellow, orange or red in color (with or without black spots on the wing covers). The beetles' spots, which can vary in size and pattern, numbering from no spots to as many as nineteen. The head is usually concealed beneath the disk-shaped pronotum, which is cream to yellow in color with a black 'M' design in the center.

In its native habitat, the multicolored Asian lady beetle spends the winter in crevices along vertical cliff faces. Lacking such habitats, they frequently congregate on the vertical surfaces houses, sheds, and other buildings during the fall in search of overwintering sites. The beetles seem to prefer light-colored surfaces on the sunny side of the structure. If unsealed crevices are present, they may enter structures in search of protected overwintering sites. Once inside, they enter voids in the walls, wander on various surfaces or hang in clusters in the corners of ceilings. These beetles do not bite, sting, or carry human diseases; nor do they feed on wood, clothing, or food. Despite this, they cause concern among homeowners. Overwintered multicolored Asian lady beetles become active again during warm, sunny days in the spring. In attempting to exit the house, they may instead find their way into the dwelling where they again cause a nuisance.

Mechanical exclusion is the best method to keep multicolored Asian lady beetles from entering homes and buildings. Cracks around windows, doors, siding, utility pipes, behind chimneys, and underneath the wood fascia and other openings should be sealed with good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk. Damaged screens on doors and windows should be repaired or replaced. Attics, fireplace chimneys, and exhaust vents should be covered with number 20 (or smaller) screen mesh.

If beetles are already in a house, they can be removed by using a vacuum cleaner or shop vac. Insecticides are not recommended for two reasons. Beetles dying in the walls or attics of house may encourage other pests, such as carpet beetles which feed on dead insects as well as natural products such as wool and dried plant material. Secondly, because of the valuable pest suppression they provide, multicolored Asian lady beetles should be picked up and then released in a protected area outside the building. Fencerows, wood piles and hollow trees may all serve as adequate overwintering sites for multicolored Asian lady beetles.


Scott Campbell
03-08-2001, 05:14 PM
Very informative PlyValiant, that is some interesting reading. To you and Jim, I have to agree with Runner though. Last year especially I know around Central Indiana we had a pretty good infestation of LadyBug, LadyBird, LadyBeetle what ever you want to call them.(inside home's) They appear to be in the LadyBug family. The one that I am thinking of specifically was kind of yellowish green in color, didn't exactly count or look at the spots all that close. But, I do know that is what was taking a little chunk out of me from time to time.

I thought I was going crazy at first when I felt that zap and looked down to see what I thought was just a LadyBug. LadyBug's don't bite!! Wrong!!! At least this variety does. I have been nipped by about every kind of bug around here from crawling to flying, and some of these little AKA: LadyBug's felt like some deer fly's that I have had the displeasure of meeting before. So, maybe they aren't exactly a LadyBug, but they sure look like them. And these dainty little wonders have some teeth to them. ;)

03-08-2001, 10:18 PM
Jim, What you said about the numbers of different varieties of these insects is definitely right on! The information I obtained was through your local Cooperative Extension Service. Above, I see Plymouth posted a few sites, including an extension service site. I know it sounds awkward, but I DID get bit by these things on numerous occasions, and there were no other bugs around or on me at the time.