Asian lady beetles in Texoma

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - They're called Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles.

Leland McDaniel works as OSU's Carter and Jefferson County Extension Educator for Agriculture.

He says it's the time of the year when the beetles look to stay warm.

"If we had an infrared camera obviously we have heat escape from houses and that attracts the lady beetles in search of a place to (stay) over winter," McDaniel said.

McDaniel says the Asian lady beetles have an "M" shaped pattern on the back of their head and have a slight difference in color to the ladybugs we are used to seeing.

They do bite but entomologists say the bite doesn't seriously hurt humans or spread diseases.

They also say dust produced from an accumulation of dead multicolored Asian lady beetles inside walls could trigger allergies or asthma in some people.

McDaniel says the imported Asian lady beetles were first released by the United States Department of Agriculture back in the 1960's.

"(They were) Trying to establish them as a predator on some plant insects particularly aphids and scale insects," McDaniel said.

McDaniel says the beetles are most commonly found on plants and trees like pecan trees where they prey on certain plant insects - but now that temperatures are cooling down, you might see more around your house.

So what's the best way to get rid of the critters?

"If you kill large numbers they can eventually give off a foul odor so we recommend just vacuuming them up and taking them out somewhere and releasing them," McDaniel said.

McDaniel says you can also keep beetles away ahead of time by using insecticides around the home, filling in cracks around windows and doors and putting screens on exhaust fans to keep them out.

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