The Japanese lady beetle or multicolored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) is known to most people as the lady beetle which invades their homes in the fall and swarms their houses when spring arrives. To many homeowners, these unwelcome house guests are considered a pest. However, the multicolored Asian lady beetle is a friend to the gardener consuming large numbers of plant-eating pests, thereby reducing the need for harmful pesticides.
The Japanese lady beetle can be pale yellow, brown, bright orange, red, black or mustard in color with from 0 to 20 spots. Mating occurs during the spring after males and females leave their hibernation sites. Their eggs are yellow, oval-shaped, and are usually found on the undersides of leaves in clusters of about 20. Their larvae has an elongate, somewhat flattened body and are covered with tiny, flexible spines. The larvae feed for 12 to 14 days, during which time they consume large numbers of aphids, scale insects, and other soft-bodied insects. The adults can live 2 or 3 years and will consume around 5,000 aphids in its life.
Although the Japanese lady beetle can be a nuisance in the home, the work they do for us in the garden may make them worth putting up with.
For suggestions on how to prevent or control the Japanese lady beetle or multicolored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) from invading your home, visit http://www.hort.uconn.edu/ipm/homegrnd/htms/56albug.htm or