The Asian Lady Beetle vs. The Typical Ladybug

People in Alabama are beginning to find a lot of Asian lady beetles in their homes as it warms up. Though they look very similar to the traditional ladybug, these pests are decidedly different from their docile look-alikes. In this post we’ll profile the Asian lady beetle and discuss how they differ from standard ladybugs.

Asian Lady BeetleCharacteristics of the Asian Lady Beetle

As the name suggests Asian lady beetles originated in Asia, however they can now be found all over the U.S. Nearly 100 years ago Asian lady beetles were purposely released in various areas in an attempt to control other pests. Oddly enough it wasn’t until 1988 that they finally began to show up in noticeable numbers around Louisiana. Today, Asian lady beetles are growing in number and entomologists are uncertain as to why they lack population controls that are seen in their native countries.

Asian lady beetles are typically about 1/3” long, oval and convex in shape. Though they are small, their bright colors and tendency to group together make them noticeable out in the wild. So there was little mistaking when they finally showed up.

Asian lady beetles are becoming a growing concern because this species likes to congregate in large numbers in and around people’s houses. What you may have mistaken for ladybugs on the side of your home this past fall was more likely Asian lady beetles. They’ll find their way inside through tiny cracks or crevices and stay there relatively inactive during the winter. But come springtime when the weather warms up, all of a sudden you’ll start to notice the Asian lady beetles moving about as they make their way into the living quarters of a home and back outdoors.

Their one redeeming quality during this time is that they won’t destroy anything. They don’t chew on fibers or eat food so they are more of an annoyance than anything else.

How the Asian Lady Beetle Compares to a Ladybug


Life Cycle – All lady beetles have the same four-part life cycle: egg, larvae, pupa and adult.

Physical Appearance – Some Asian lady beetles look almost exactly like ladybugs, which is why the two are easily mistaken for each other.

Pest Control – Both ladybugs and Asian lady beetles eat aphids and help to keep pests out of gardens and homes.


Coloration Variation – Asian lady beetles have a much broader range of colors. While some look exactly like ladybugs, others are yellow to orange in color and some have few if any spots. It is sometimes called the multicolored Asian lady beetle because of this.

M on the Thorax – Asian lady beetles have an identifiable M marking on their thorax, which differentiates them from ladybugs.

Clustering – Asian lady beetles are prone to clustering together around homes in groups that can reach into the thousands. This makes them much more likely to cause infestations.

Pinching – Unlike ladybugs, Asian lady beetles have been known to pinch people. It isn’t hard enough to break the skin, but you’ll definitely feel it.

Country of Origin – While Asian lady beetles originated in Asia, 450 varieties of ladybugs are native to North America.

If you’ve seen what looks like ladybugs around your home this spring, you may find upon closer inspection that they’re actually Asian lady beetles. If so, give Vulcan Termite and Pest Control a call and we can help you take control of the infestation.


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