Ladybugs are a blessing in the garden; they eat aphids and ants and can protect our plants and produce from harmful bugs. But when they come indoors, they can cause a massive infestation. Bugs multiply rapidly as they lay hundreds of eggs. They often carry pollen on their wings, leading to rhinitis and allergies. They also cause stains on walls. Ladybug infestations are more common in the colder months as the bugs come indoors seeking warmth.
Let us take a look at some ways to get rid of ladybugs in the house and even those found on house plants.
1. With lemon juice
Ladybugs are often known as ‘Gardener’s friends’, but when they come inside the house, they can be quite a nuisance. To get rid of a ladybug infestation, simply rub a lemon slice near the bugs. The scent of lemon juice helps repel bugs so that they move far away from it.
You can also mix a few drops of lemon essential oil in wood polish and rub your furniture with the mixture to repel ladybugs.
Lemon-scented furniture polish is also readily available and you can use that as well as a home remedy. Alternatively, spray the walls with a solution of lemon juice and water to repel ladybugs.
A ladybug infestation usually occurs in the winter months as they come indoors looking for some warmth. They usually hide in cracks and crevices of walls and furniture.
You can easily repel ladybugs with food-grade borax powder. Liberally dust borax powder in the cracks and crevices of furniture and walls and soon your ladybug problem will be a thing of the past. Borax is a safe remedy as it does not harm kids and pets.
3. Diatomaceous earth powder
Ladybugs come to eat aphids, their larvae, and eggs. So, if you successfully repel aphids from your garden, you will also keep ladybugs out of your home.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth powder (DE powder) liberally around the plants in your garden to deter aphids and that will also repel ladybugs.
Diatomaceous earth powder works by shredding the exoskeleton of aphids and their eggs. As a result, these insects do not cross the barrier formed by the DE powder. When aphids disappear, so will the ladybugs.
4. Vacuum thoroughly
Ladybugs not only feast on aphids, but they also live on pollen. Pollen is present on all indoor surfaces, especially in the spring. Vacuuming the house thoroughly can help remove pollen particles and prevent bugs from coming indoors. Also, wipe down all surfaces with a wet cloth once or twice a day to remove pollen.
You can vacuum the cluster of ladybugs (generally found on walls and ceilings in winter months). Toss out the collected bugs right away to prevent them from reproducing.
5. Sweep the bugs away
Take a long broom and sweep away all of the ladybugs hanging on your ceilings and walls. Collect the bugs in a scoop and toss them far away from your home to prevent them from coming in again.
6. Avoid catnip
Catnip attracts ladybugs. If you have catnip in your garden, chances are that ladybugs are coming for it. So either re-plant it further away from your property or just remove it.
7. Use garlic
Garlic repels aphids which are ladybug food. So if you want to avoid ladybugs on your plants plant some garlic bulbs or spray garlic essential oil near your plants. The strong garlicky odor will repel aphids and hence also ladybugs. Inside the home, place cotton balls soaked in garlic oil near the lady-bug infested areas.
8. Use homemade pungent sprays
Repellents and homemade sprays are quite effective in repelling all kinds of bugs, including ladybugs. You can successfully repel and get rid of ladybugs with a spray made using soap flakes, water, hot peppers, garlic, and onion. Spray this on the ladybug colonies to get rid of them immediately.
To make a pungent garlic-hot pepper spray, steep ½ tsp crushed garlic and ½ tsp hot pepper in 1 gallon of hot water and let stand for 10-12 hours. Use the diluted spray on houseplants and full-strength spray on the home infestation.
9. Clay or quassia extracts
Spray some clay or quassia extracts on the ladybugs. You can also spray your plants as this solution repels aphids which are ladybugs’ favorite food. Alternatively, spray soapy water on plants. (Make sure you wash off the plant afterward as soapy water/quassia extract can harm the plant.)
You can make a biodynamic spray with powdered clay, rotenone, and water to make a thin fluid spray. Spray all over the plants or any other areas where ladybugs are present. The spray suffocates the eggs and prevents new bugs.
10. Use mineral oil
Using a dropper, apply a few drops of mineral oil to the infested areas. The oil repels ladybugs quickly.
11. Suffocate the bugs with buttermilk-flour spray
Mix ½ cup buttermilk, 5 gallons of water, and 4 cups wheat flour. Spray the mixture on the ladybugs as well as your houseplants to suffocate larvae, eggs, and the adult bugs. This mixture is also beneficial on mites, spiders, and aphids which are all food for ladybugs.
12. Cedar spray
Boil ½ lb of cedar chips or cedar dust in 2 gallons of water and steep the mixture overnight. The next morning, strain the liquid and fill it into a spray bottle. Dilute it with water and spray all over plants and colonies of ladybugs to repel them right away.
13. Make a glue trap
Dissolve ¼ lb of fish or animal glue in 1 gallon of warm water. Spray the mixture all over trees and bushes to trap beetles, mites, spiders, aphids, and ladybugs. The glue traps the bugs and falls off with the pests once it is dried.
14. Neem oil
Neem oil is a great pest repellent it repels ladybug beetles and other insects. Spray your plants early in the morning with neem spray made by adding a few drops of neem oil in water. Its effect can last for about 1-2 weeks or till the rains. Note that neem oil can be toxic to honeybees.
15. Use chemical ladybug killers
Many chemical ladybug killers and insecticides are readily available online and offline. Some of these sprays contain pyrethroids that are generally safe around kids and pets. You can even spray these insecticides safely around the house.
16. Use essential oils
Many essential oils repel ladybugs around the house. You can use citrus oils like lemon, orange, lemongrass, grapefruit, or tangerine, etc. Diffuse these around the house to repel bugs. Clove essential oil is also a bug-repellent. Place cotton balls soaked in clove oil around the corners of rooms to prevent ladybug infestations.
17. Camphor and menthol
Carefully burn some camphor pellets in your rooms to repel all kinds of bugs including ladybugs. You can also spray mentholated sprays in corners as the strong scent is a potent ladybug-repellent.
Apart from using these methods and home remedies to repel ladybugs, you must also prevent their entry into your house by sealing cracks and crevices.