Why Are Asian Ladybugs Infesting Georgia Homes Georgia And Hurting Dogs?

September 3, 2019 | Posted In: Georgia Pest & Termite Control

Georgia is home to an abundance of arthropod pests, including scorpions, yellow jackets, kissing bugs, black widows, cockroaches, stink bugs and an abundance of bacteria-spreading fly species. Residents of the state are well aware of this, but many residents may not be aware that their state is also home to an unusually high population of non-native ladybug pests that often infest homes. This non-native ladybug species is commonly known as the Asian lady beetle, and believe it or not, these bugs were deliberately introduced into the state of Georgia several decades ago by the US Department of Agriculture in an effort to protect pecan crops from damage inflicted by other insect pests.

Fortunately, the non-native insects proved effective at dramatically reducing crop-pests in Georgia. Unfortunately, the invasive lady beetles rapidly spread beyond agricultural areas and into residential and urban areas of the state where they continue to cause nuisance infestations within homes and buildings to this day. In addition to infesting homes in large numbers, these non-native insect pests have become known in many parts of the southeast for their massive annual swarms. These swarms sometimes see entire neighborhoods covered with the insects. If all this is not bad enough, Asian lady beetles literally infest the mouths of dogs as well.

Asian lady beetles can be found in abundance all over the US, and this non-native species looks almost exactly like native ladybugs. However, when these insects were being brought into the US from China during the 1970s and 1980s, Georgia received the greatest amount of the bugs. Researchers assumed that the insects would not become a problem in residential areas, but they were wrong. Although these insects are considered a mere nuisance within homes, Asian lady beetles often infest inaccessible areas of a home where they can be hard to remove, such as wall-voids. Once the bugs infest a home, they often remain within obscure areas during the entire winter season. Perhaps worst of all is this bug’s habit of burrowing into the mouths of dogs in an effort to secure moist conditions. The beetles burrow into the tissue where they become difficult to remove. Removing the insects from the oral tissue requires tweezers, and in some cases, veterinarian assistance.

Were you aware that Georgia is home to a ladybug species that can burrow into your dog’s mouth?