Why Are People Releasing Ladybugs Inside Their Homes?

As the winter months begin to roll in, you may notice more ladybugs taking shelter in your home. This is because ladybugs cannot withstand the cold, which is why they're most active from spring until fall, per National Geographic. They can choose to hibernate inside rotted logs or under rocks, but the smart ladybugs like to head indoors where they know it's nice and warm. If you've experienced a ladybug swarm, odds are you took the proper steps to remove them; however, some homeowners are welcoming these ladybugs with open arms.

It seems a bit strange to bring insects into your home, when many people try to keep them out. Luckily, they aren't poisonous to humans or pets (as long as they don't eat them), says Healthline. But still, we certainly wouldn't recommend them as pets, so, why are people releasing ladybugs inside their homes? The answer might surprise you.

They're a natural pest control

Bugs and other wildlife can severely damage your garden by chewing on your plants, resulting in holes, discoloration, wilting, and stunted growth (via Pestech). Certain insects can even transmit diseases, which will ultimately kill your plants. Many people use pesticides as pest control, but using those types of chemicals can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation. Exposure to pesticides is also linked to kidney damage and a higher chance of cancer, according to Cogent Medicine. To avoid these side effects, many plant owners have turned to ladybugs instead to rid their homes of pests.

Ladybugs eat aphids and mites, which have a small but mighty negative effect on plants, as Happy Spout explains. In theory, the more ladybugs you have, the fewer pests you will have to worry about. Using ladybugs as pest control is also budget-friendly. You can either collect them yourself, or purchase them online at a low cost. Unfortunately, there are some issues with keeping ladybugs in your home.

The downside of ladybugs in the home

Using ladybugs as pest control doesn't come without consequences. If you purchase your ladybugs, many of them carry parasites and diseases, which can affect the rest of the ladybugs in your home, according to TreeHugger. These diseases and parasites will slowly kill them off, therefore decreasing the amount of ladybugs to eat the aphids and mites destroying your plants. To avoid bringing these diseases into your home, the best thing you can do is naturally attract ladybugs and bring them inside. This can be done by planting heavily pollinated plants, such as sunflowers.

Before you bring any ladybugs into your home, however, you need to make sure you're bringing in actual ladybugs, not multicolored Asian lady beetles, which many people mistake for ladybugs. According to The Washington Post, multicolored Asian lady beetles (otherwise known as ladybird beetles) are known for their horrible smell and biting humans. If you accidentally crush them, they leave behind a yellow stain that is difficult to remove. It's easy to tell the difference between the two species, as ladybugs are red, and ladybird beetles have a more orange appearance (via the University of Maryland Extension).