Do you know the difference between a ladybug vs Asian beetle?
One is harmless and beneficial to plantlife while the other can be aggressive and damaging. One is often purchased at gardening stores and invited into our gardens to help them thrive, while the other is an invasive species no one seems to want around. However, both look similar and it’s often difficult for people to tell them apart.
These two beetle species could be twins, but they are vastly different from one another in regard to diet, lifestyle, and beneficial qualities, especially when it comes to lawns, gardens, and homes.
Are wondering how to tell the difference between these two very similar looking insects? Then you’ve come to the right place.
Today, we are going to talk about how to distinguish between a ladybug vs Asian beetle and learn how you can keep the ladybug around while at the same time keeping that pesky Asian beetle away.
Let’s get started.
A Ladybug Vs Asian Beetle – What Is A Ladybug?
Ladybugs are highly beneficial insects for gardens.
Ladybugs are famous for their beauty and the benefits they bring to our gardens and lawns. Often called lady beetles or ladybird beetles, the ladybug comes in a variety of colors and shapes, with almost 5,000 different species of ladybug worldwide.
Over 400 ladybug species call the United States home, however the most common and beloved ladybug you’ll come across in North America is the seven spotted ladybug.
This beauty has a bright red, shiny body and seven black spots. She has six legs and eats pesky insects that can harm our gardens like aphids. Let’s learn more about the ladybug and her benefits to your yard and garden below.
Overview Of A Ladybug
The most common ladybug in North America is the 7 spotted ladybug, pictured above.
While ladybugs do come in a variety of different species, they are for the most part a beneficial insect that many gardeners actually invite into their gardens. In fact, ladybugs are so adored that seeing one is often considered a symbol of good luck in many different cultures.
Here’s what you should know about the ladybug.
Ladybug Size And General Appearance:
Ladybugs are small in size, growing only about 0.03 to 0.07 inches. In general, ladybugs are oval in shape and have six legs. Their dome-shaped bodies are shiny and often bright orange or red. There are many different species of ladybug, with some sporting black stripes, spots, or simple shiny bodies with no patterns whatsoever.
The seven spotted ladybug, as mentioned above, is the most common North American ladybug and the one most often brought into gardens to help them thrive. The seven spotted ladybug has a bright red or orange body, seven black spots, a black head, and two small white spots that look like eyes on either side of her face.
Did you know ladybugs are omnivores? This means they eat both plants and animals. The main reason most people find ladybugs to be such beneficial insects is due to this type of diet.
Ladybugs are a wonderful and natural pest control option for gardens and farmers. In fact, these pretty beetles feed on garden-ruining insects like aphids, caterpillars, spider mites, insect eggs, beetles, mealybugs, and other destructive garden pests.
They are also known to eat sap, fungi, honeydew, nectar, berries, and pollen.
Though the seven spotted ladybug is a European native, it has adapted to live in a number of different regions and climates in North America.
Most ladybug species prefer warmer climates across the world, but they can be found in nearly every region and every type of habitat. They are found in cities, suburbs, grasslands, near water sources like rivers and streams, and in forests and gardens.
Ladybugs are most active in warmer weather between spring and fall. Then, during the winter months, ladybugs will seek out warm shelter where they can hibernate in colonies of thousands of ladybugs at a time. If ladybugs don’t have a warm place to hibernate, they will die.
A great way to keep ladybugs hibernating and alive in their natural habitat (your garden) is to offer them a warm place to wait out the winter. Many gardeners and farmers find that a ladybug shelter or ladybug house helps keep ladybugs where they belong and encourages them to continue living in gardens where they are needed.
Male and female ladybugs typically reproduce during spring and early summer. A female ladybug can lay between 10 to 50 eggs at a time, with one female ladybug laying around 1,000 eggs in her lifetime.
A mother ladybug will lay her eggs where there is plenty of food, often where aphids are abundant on leaves or other plant life. That way, when the eggs hatch, they have plenty to eat.
Baby ladybugs go through four stages of metamorphosis before they become the adult ladybug we know and love.
These stages include the egg stage, or embryonic stage. Then they enter into the larval stage, pupal stage, and last they reach their imaginal stage where they become adults.
The below video shows the four different life stages of a ladybug in action.
Signs Of Ladybug Activity In Your Yard:
Wondering how to tell the difference between a ladybug vs asian beetle activity in your yard or garden? You probably have ladybugs if you notice ladybugs in your garden along with healthier plant life. You may see ladybugs and recognize fewer aphids, caterpillars, and other destructive insects.
However, if you think you have ladybugs but you also notice wilted and dying plants that appear eaten or munched on, chances are you’re not dealing with ladybugs at all, and may be dealing with the asian lady beetle.
But what is an asian lady beetle and how do you tell the difference between a ladybug vs asian beetle in the first place?
Keep reading to find out.
A Ladybug Vs Asian Beetle – What Is An Asian Beetle?
The white M shape on the top of the head tells you when you’re looking at an Asian beetle.
Known also as the Asian lady beetle, the harlequin, or the multicolored Asian, Asian beetles are an invasive species from Japan that found their way to North America via human travel. They are known to be problematic in large numbers and may even infiltrate our homes during winter to hibernate.
That said, Asian beetles are also beneficial, like ladybugs. They feed on destructive insects that harm our gardens and can help keep landscaping healthy. However, they also feed on plants that we may not want them to destroy, and are aggressive and territorial insects that eat beneficial insects as well, including ladybugs.
Asian beetles come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and often closely resemble their ladybug counterpart in appearance. However, they can be problematic to homeowners and are not typically invited into gardens because they generally like to hibernate indoors.
Furthermore, Asian lady beetles can be aggressive towards humans and harmful to pets. They bite, secrete a foul smelling yellowish chemical when threatened, and will often get lodged at the roof of pets’ mouths, causing ulcers and digestive issues if they go unchecked.
Overview of An Asian Beetle
Asian beetles are not as brightly colored as ladybugs.
While the ladybug vs Asian beetle are different in many ways, we should keep in mind that they belong to the same beetle species. This may be one of the reasons that telling the difference between the two is so difficult.
Another reason is because the Asian beetle, in some of its colors and patterns, looks similar to the ladybug, as we’ve mentioned above.
Asian Beetle Size And General Appearance:
The Asian beetle is a bit larger than the ladybug but not by much. These insects have oval shaped bodies that curve in a dome, and come in multiple colors and pattern types.
One of the most common patterns on an Asian beetle that tends to get it confused for a ladybug is orange or burnt red with black spots. However, ladybugs are generally bright red, and the Asian beetle is not as brightly colored. Furthermore, asian beetles have a pronounced white “M” shape at the top of their heads that ladybugs do not possess.
Asian Beetle Diet:
Like the ladybug, asian beetles feed on destructive garden insects like aphids, caterpillars, spider mites, insect eggs, and more. They are omnivores who eat both plant and meat materials, and can assist in the health of gardens and landscaping.
Unfortunately, they eat beneficial insects too like our ladybug friends, and are also known to eat our garden plants, making them destructive in high numbers.
Asian Beetle Habitat:
While Asian beetles can be beneficial, most people don’t feel as much of a kinship with them as they do with ladybugs for a few different reasons.
The biggest reason, aside from the fact that they also eat our garden plants and ladybug friends, is because of the Asian lady beetle’s lifestyle and habitat. Asian beetles live in a number of habitats including forests, gardens, cities, suburbs, and grasslands. Like the ladybug, they are most active during spring and summer, and they hibernate during the fall.
It is this hibernation period that leads many to consider Asian beetles such annoying household pests. These beetles tend to seek hibernation shelter indoors and often invade homes to wait out the winter. They can infest our homes in masses, hibernating in large colonies between walls, floorboards, and more.
Asian Beetle Reproduction:
When it comes to distinguishing between a ladybug vs Asian beetle as far as reproduction, the two are relatively similar. Like the ladybug, the Asian beetle reproduces during spring and summer and a female Asian beetle lays eggs amongst abundant food sources like aphids.
That said, a female Asian beetle is more fertile and lives longer than a ladybug, laying between 1,600 to 3,800 eggs in her lifetime.
Signs Of Asian Beetle Activity In Your Yard:
As with a ladybug, you may notice a reduction of destructive pests in your garden and yard and see a higher number of these little beetles. This is why it may be difficult to tell between a ladybug vs Asian beetle at first.
However, if you also notice that your plants are developing bite marks and holes while still seeing the presence of what you think are ladybugs, and if you begin noticing these insects in your home come fall, chances are you are dealing with Asian beetles as opposed to ladybugs.
Ladybug Vs Asian Beetle Removal – Best Products for Outdoor Removal
Asian beetles do eat garden pests, but they can also eat and damage plants.
While both the ladybug vs Asian beetle are beneficial insects to gardens, in very large numbers Asian beetles can become problematic. Controlling these insects is the best way to keep your garden healthy and your home beetle-free.
Below are a few of our favorite products for how to take care of a ladybug or an Asian beetle infestation in your garden.
Rescue Disposable Beetle Trap
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If you don’t want to kill these beneficial insects but would like to control and relocate them, then we suggest using a trap like the disposable beetle trap listed above.
This trap lures both ladybugs and Asian beetles without killing them, giving you the opportunity to remove and relocate them. This is also a good option for those looking to capture ladybugs and relocate them to other parts of your garden or yard for their beneficial purposes.
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Diatomaceous Earth is an effective and natural insecticide that is made from fossilized algea. It is harmless in the environment and safe to use around children and pets. You can use it outdoors as needed to help control a ladybug vs Asian beetle problem, however it works best when dry so it will need to be reapplied if it gets wet.
D-Fense SC Deltamethrin
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D-Fense SC uses deltamethrin to control an asian beetle infestation indoors. It works best when used along the perimeter of your home and near exit and entry points like windows and doors.
Ladybug vs Asian Beetle Removal – Best Products For Indoor Removal
Asian beetles are especially problematic when they hibernate indoors.
When it comes to ladybug and Asian beetle problems, the biggest difference is that the Asian beetle becomes a household pest during colder months.
If you are looking for some good indoor products to use to keep Asian beetles from entering your home during winter, we have you covered with our favorite commercial repellents below.
Ultrasonic Pest Repellent
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Ultrasonic pest repellents like the product above are useful not only for controlling a ladybug or Asian beetle problem, but also for keeping other home invading pests out like spiders, roaches, centipedes, flies, mice, lizards and more.
This product uses ultrasonic sound frequencies that irritate pests and keep them from wanting to enter your home. Best of all, it is safe to use around children and pets and can be used all year round.
Harris Asian Lady Beetle Spray
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Using a product that is specifically designed to control Asian lady beetles will help to keep these insects from becoming indoor pests during winter.
This bug repellent is a spray that can be used indoors and out and is safe to use around children and pets when used as directed. It also protects against centipedes, flies, mosquitoes and more.
Cyper WSP Insecticide
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Cyper WSP is an insecticide that uses chemical ingredients to control 30 different pests from asian lady beetles to spiders, roaches, mosquitoes, centipedes, and more.
It is available in a water-soluble powder that should be diluted with water and applied as directed. While this insecticide is effective against controlling ladybug vs Asian beetle problems, it does use ingredients that can be harmful to humans and animals.
Make sure you read the directions carefully and use this product with caution around children and pets.
Best Home Remedies To Deal With Ladybug Vs. Asian Beetle Control
There are plenty of natural home remedies you can use to control these beetles.
Remember, the ladybug vs Asian beetle are different beetle species in the same family who are each beneficial in their own way. That said, no one wants insects sneaking into their homes to hibernate during the winter, causing problems for their pets, increasing allergies, or eating plants and other beneficial insects.
If you are looking for safe and natural ways to control a ladybug vs asian beetle population, you’re in luck. There are plenty of tried and tested home remedies you can use to control and repel a ladybug vs asian beetle problem in both your home and in your yard.
Take a look below!
- Control A Ladybug Vs Asian Beetle Population By Planting Mums
These insects are naturally repelled by mums, which are beautiful flowers you can grow in pots both inside and out. Plant mums in your outside garden to help keep the ladybug vs Asian beetle population under control and keep mums indoors to help repel Asian beetles from trying to hibernate in your home during winter.
- Repel A Ladybug vs Asian Beetle With Cloves Or Bay Leaves
Asian beetles are especially deterred by the overwhelming scent of bay leaves and cloves, so you can plant these herbs in your garden or even sprinkle them around the perimeter of your home and at entry and exit points to help keep these beetles from entering during winter.
- Winterize Your Home to Keep Asian Beetles From Entering To Hibernate
When it comes to a ladybug vs Asian beetle, one of the biggest differences is that the Asian beetle is an indoor pest during winter months.
You can keep the Asian lady beetle from entering your home at all by ensuring you have properly winterized your property. This means making sure you have sealed up any openings, repaired ripped screens, and ensured doors and windows close properly.
- If You Do Come Across A Ladybug Vs Asian Beetle Inside, Just Vacuum Or Sweep Them Away
Both ladybugs and Asian beetles are harmless to humans, although the Asian beetle can bite. If you find one of these beetles inside your home and are worried about handling them, simply vacuum them up or sweep them away.
Vacuuming and sweeping will not harm the insects, and you can simply relocate them back to your garden if you desire.
- Use Citronella Or Soapy Water And Apply It Around Entry And Exit Points
Along with winterising to ensure you keep a ladybug vs Asian beetle from entering your home to hibernate, you can also use a citronella spray or some sudsy, soapy water and apply it around the perimeter of your home.
Spray either solution at all entry and exit points and reapply it every few days to ensure these beetles stay outside where they belong.
Want Some Home Recipes For How To Control A Ladybug Vs Asian Beetle Population Inside And Out? Some Of Our Favorites Include:
- Citrus And Soap Spray
- 1/4th cup lemon juice
- 3 cups water
- 2 tbsp dish soap
- Oil and Soap Spray
- 2 tbsp soap
- 1 cup veggie oil
- Camphor and Menthol
- 1 cup Camphor
- ½ cup Water
- 1 cup Menthol
- Neem Oil Spray
- 2 tsp neem oil
- 1 tsp liquid soap
- 1 quart of water
The Ladybug Vs Asian Beetle – Fast Facts You Should Know
Ladybugs only live for up to one year.
Regardless of whether you are dealing with a ladybug vs Asian beetle, both insects can be beneficial and play their own important role in our ecosystem. There are also so many interesting things about these insects you may not know.
Let’s take this time to learn a few facts about the ladybug vs Asian beetle below.
Ladybugs Are Not Native To North America
But that doesn’t necessarily make them an invasive species, like their Asian beetle counterpart. In fact, ladybugs were purposefully invited into North America to help control aphids and other destructive pests.
The Ladybug Vs Asian Beetle Coloring And Pattern Protects Them From Predators
Both the ladybug vs Asian beetle have bright colors and often bright patterns, and there’s a reason for this. The brightly colored beetles give a warning to predators that they taste nasty and won’t make a good meal, often helping to deter predators from eating them.
Both Ladybugs And Asian Lady Beetles Can Consume Up To 5,000 Insects A Day
It’s no wonder the ladybug vs Asian beetle are so beneficial! These beetles can eat a crazy amount of destructive garden pests in one single day, which helps to keep our gardens and yards thriving.
A Ladybug Vs Asian Beetle Can Cause Health Issues In Large Numbers
Even the beneficial ladybug can lead to an increase in allergies like itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing in very large numbers.
The Asian beetle can be problematic to pets, especially curious dogs who try to eat them. Asian lady beetles have been found to get stuck in the roof of dogs’ mouths and are known to secrete a yellowish chemical when threatened.
This foul smelling chemical burns dogs’ mouths and may lead to stomach upset and even ulcers in pets who have eaten them. If you are dealing with a large infestation of a ladybug vs Asian beetle, keep an eye on your pets and check the roof of their mouths often.
Ladybugs Don’t Live As Long As Asian Beetles
Sadly, the final difference between the ladybug vs Asian beetle is lifespan. The ladybug’s average lifespan is just one year, while the Asian beetle can live a decent insect life of up to three years.
One of the reasons behind this is that the Asian beetle seems to have a very small list of natural predators, while ladybugs are hunted by dragonflies, wasps, lizards, frogs, and even asian beetles themselves.
What do you think? Will you be able to tell the difference between a ladybug vs Asian beetle now that you have read this article? And would you invite a ladybug vs Asian beetle into your garden to help it thrive?
Tell us why or why not in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.