We’re in for a cold weekend here in the Mid-Atlantic, and not only does that mean that it will be time to enjoy hot chocolate and cozy fires once again, but you may also see a gathering of ladybugs outside your door. This phenomenon has astounded entomologists (people who study insects) for years, and we break it down in our latest blog. Read on to find out why ladybugs come knocking on your door when times get cold!
Turns out, like many other critters out there, ladybugs are hibernators. For those who need a refresher from science class, it means that when the weather gets cold, the animal will shut itself down and wait out the winter, resurfacing once the spring comes around. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but most of the time it is because the critter does not have the means to stay warm during the entire duration of the season, like fur. In the case of the ladybug, it needs a warm place to hibernate, and they cannot dig a hole in the ground (like a groundhog) and hope for the best.
That being said, it makes sense as to why there are some ladybugs coming to your door during the winter. However, it doesn’t go to explain why they show up in large clusters! Instead, it can be explained by their behavior—ladybugs are social creatures, and they absolutely love being around their kind, even in the winter. Entomologists call species like this “cluster-hibernators,” since they all plan to shut down with their squad. In fact, they love spending time with each other so much, that when one ladybug finds a spot to stay for the winter, it will release a pheromone to alert others of the discovery. Once the other bugs pick up the scent, they’ll come scrambling to that spot.
Thanks to their small size, you don’t need to keep your door or windows wide open to have a barrage of ladybugs going through. Small holes in your screens or weather stripping provide the perfect opportunity for them to sneak in, unbeknownst to you. Take a few minutes and make sure that this is not the case, so you’ll be protected against all sorts of pests (not just ladybugs).
Now, if they do get into your home, there is no need to be worried—ladybugs are absolutely harmless are quite friendly to humans. On the other hand, if they prove to be a nuisance or are just everywhere, then you should take action. Give your local, trusted pest control company a call, and you can be assured that they will clean up that issue with ease.
If you find yourself being bogged down by a gazillion ladybugs this weekend, give us a call!