Since I started this blog series on unwanted critter guests wanting to winter in your home; I have gotten some feedback from my Loyal “dog-blog” readers saying that they have noticed certain bugs hanging around the southernmost exposed portion of their home on warm days following cool nights. That is just as I had expected, given last year’s mild winter and this year’s moist spring and summer. Bug populations have flourished and now it’s time for the masses to hunker down for the winter and get excited about the next coming spring. Stink bugs (last week’s blog), Boxelder Bugs (next weeks blog), Spiders (the following week’s blog) and the cute little Lady Bugs (this week’s blog) are the major players from the bug world that are now prevalent in our central Virginia region and are anxious to “Snow-bird” in your home.

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you should know by now, this is Hunter, Loyal’s Certified K-9 Termite Detective, giving you useful information to prepare you and your family for this year’s winter invasion.

Of all the bug types in this series; the Asian Lady Beetle, better known as the Lady Bug, is probably the tamest of this critter group. I say that because, if you recall, the Stink Bug is a garden and crop enemy #1. In last week’s blog, I spoke of the Stink Bug’s ability to totally destroy whole soybean fields! They will poke holes in any and all fruits and vegetables extracting nutrients, rendering the fruit completely ruined. The Lady Bug, on the other hand, is a garden’s best friend. A large group of Lady Bugs can clear a complete garden of leaf destroying insects like aphids and spider mites. As a matter of fact, the multi-colored Asian Lady Beetle was purposely introduced to the USA as a beneficial insect.

Tell that to folks who have thousands harboring in their home! In Asia, they use cliff faces as overwintering quarters. Here, it is much easier to find a warm home with an easy access to spend a cozy winter. Although they do not reproduce inside a home, there are enough of them living in large groups to inhabit many, many homes in our region.

Once discovered, if they are disturbed in large numbers they will give off a very unpleasant pungent odor. I am told this is pretty funky. Here is a little trick I read about to gather up large numbers and be able to release them unharmed. If you do this; they have the ability to harbor somewhere else before spring comes. They can then do their good work for mankind. Try this: Fit a vacuum cleaner with a stocking. This will gather them all in one spot to be easily released outside.

It is most important that you refer to the first blog in this series; Fall Season Means Unwanted Critter Guests – Part #1 (Rodents). I have compiled a very comprehensive list of “to-dos”, or a punch list if you will, for you to act upon. Complete this list and the unwanted critter guests, or “Snow-birds”, will less likely be spending the winter with you and your family.

If any troublemakers should slip through the cracks; Who ya’ gonna’ call? Call Loyal!! I say; Who ya’ gonna’ call? Call Loyal!! That “Ghostbusters” theme song is one catchy little tune, isn’t it?

Of course, if you have any questions; give us a call, click on our website, or check in with us on social media.

Until next time, this is Hunter, Loyal’s K-9 wiz dog, just wondering; What’s Buggin’ You? I’ll be barking at you again next week. Ruff! Ruff!

Fall Season Means Unwanted Critter Guests – Part #3 (Lady Bugs) in Virginia

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