Just a Lady or a Homewrecker?

Dear NH,
I have heard that ladybugs can sometimes do as much damage as termites. I fear I may have a problem. I live in Northeast Pennsylvania. We have a 1930 Cape Cod. Where can I find their nest and how can I get rid of them?

Dear JS,
I have never heard of ladybugs doing any damage to homes at all. They are not capable of eating or chewing wood... they are mostly carnivores (with a few vegetarians thrown in). Your dog or cat may be at greater risk than your house... just kidding! Furthermore, ladybugs are a valued ally in the battle against other types of insects, such as aphids, which cause extensive damage to favorable shrubs and plants.

Ladybugs are known to hibernate in buildings during the winter and to sometimes emerge during warm spells. In fact, my own church swarms with them at times during the fall and Indian summer. They are more common in older buildings that have more access points due to the looser construction of the cheap energy days.

If you are still concerned, or even if you just find them to be a nuisance, a licensed exterminator worth his salt should be able to eliminate them. He probably won't really look for the "nest"... he will "shotgun" treat the affected wall with the appropriate chemical.


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