Non-Toxic Methods to Get Rid of Ladybugs in the House
written by: Miranda Brumbaugh•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 6/28/2011
Ladybugs are a nuisance when you find them crawling across your walls and congregating in the corner of windows. However, these insects are not harmful and even beneficial for controlling unwanted pests in your outdoor space. Non-toxic methods are effective for removing ladybugs from your home.
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When deciding on which approach to use for ridding your home of ladybugs, consider the method that fits your needs. If you prefer to keep the insects alive, consider moving them to a new environment. For large-scale ladybug infestations requiring immediate removal, vacuuming the insects away is the fastest method.
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Ladybug Picture by Jesper Dyhre Nielsen
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Find the Ladybugs a New Home
This non-toxic method allows you to replace the bugs in their natural environment without killing them. Ladybugs are beneficial insects for gardeners, because they eat insects that are destructive to your vegetation. As predators, ladybugs feed on various parasites, including immature white flies, aphids and spider mites.
Collect your ladybugs using a vacuum cleaner fitted with a clean bag. Since ladybugs find themselves retreating to your indoor space during the cold weather, if you release them to the outside now when the ground is cold and vegetation is sparse, you risk losing your carefully collected ladybugs as they flee to a warmer environment. Quite possibly, the ladybug infestation may reestablish itself in your home. The remedy to this ladybug dilemma is to freeze the bugs in cubes of ice. Rather than killing them, you are putting the ladybugs on cold storage. When spring returns, place the ice cubes around your garden or lawn and after they melt the bugs will thrive. Farmers often purchase ladybugs from companies to use for pest control. Consider contacting a farmer in your area to donate or sell the bugs.
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Sweet and Sticky Situations
Use paper covered in a sweet-smelling fruit, such as freshly sliced peaches or apples, and wait for the bugs to gather on the trap. For an infestation of epic proportions, use fly paper as a sticky trap by hanging in the corners and lining the windowsills. Collect the bugs and fruit in a zippered plastic bag and toss in the trash. For a method with immediate removal, wrap duct tape or packing tape to the end of a stick. Run the tape along the infested area, taking care not to squish the ladybugs, which releases their undesirable odor. Roll the tape around itself to seal in the bugs and toss in the garbage.
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Death by Dishwashing Liquid
Mix a concoction of dishwashing liquid and water, and spray on infested windows. This cleaning solution will kill the ladybugs and provide a cleaner for removing any odorous residue left behind from the bugs. Fill a shallow dish or plate with a dish soap-treated bath for the insects. Add a teaspoon of dish liquid to juice and stir. For an even more attracting scent, toss a few pinches of sugar over the top of the water. Flush your swimming insects down the toilet.