The Truth About the ‘Imposter’ Bug Swarming the Hudson Valley
As the seasons change in the Hudson Valley, wildlife begins to search for warmth ahead of the winter months. Unfortunately for many homeowners, this includes bugs.
Recently, many New York residents noticed massive swarms of ladybugs covering entire portions of their homes. Unfortunately, the news gets worse, because the invaders aren't ladybugs at all. They are a rather stinky insect that began invading the Hudson Valley in the 1990s. Here's how you can tell the difference.
Ladybugs vs Asian Lady Beetles in New York
You're excused if you identified the insects as ladybugs, as not only are they similar in size and color, but they share a similar name as well. The insects that are most likely invading your home aren't well-known ladybugs, but the Asian Lady Beetle.
The Difference Between Ladybugs and the Asian Lady Beetle
Surprisingly, while the lady beetles are now classified in certain areas as invasive, they were originally purposefully introduced in the United States to help with aphid issues. While lady beetles have a similar diet to ladybugs, their coloration is the main difference between the two insects.
The Telltale "M" of Asian Lady Beetles
In most cases, ladybugs have a bright red color with seven to eleven black spots on their carapace, while Asian lady beetles are often more muted in color (with orange or even yellow tones) with many more spots. There is also the telltale "M" shape on the lady beetle's head to help tell them apart (below).
As some agriculture experts mention, the differences between the two insects don't necessarily make one "better" than the other. Both species were introduced to the United States (the ladybug from Europe and the lady beetle from Asia), and both eat pests like aphids. The main difference, it seems, is that it's the Asian lady beetle that seems to be seeking warmth in local Hudson Valley homes before the approaching winter.
These 50 US Cities are Crawling with Bed Bugs
Gallery Credit: Scott Clow
9 Bugs That You Need to Kill Immediately
Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins