Asian Lady Beetle vs. Ladybug — How To Tell The Difference Between The Bugs All Over Quebec

It is said that if a ladybug lands on you, your wish will come true. Well, Montrealers have been treated to better luck than they could have hoped of late, as ladybug lookalikes are invading homes and workplaces this fall. The culprit? the colorful Asian ladybird, or Harmonia Axyridis scientific.

MTL Blog has already told you how to get rid of them, but we wanted to know more about these cute little bugs that seem to be aiming for world domination. Marjolaine Giroux, who has been providing her expertise to the entomological information services of the Montreal Insectarium since 1990, was generous in answering our questions.

So there really are more Asian ladybugs in there la belle province this year? And what distinguishes them from ladybugs anyway? let’s find out

How did Asian ladybugs get to Canada and how did they spread?

As the name suggests, the Asian ladybug is native to East Asia. It was first introduced in Louisiana in North America in 1988.

Since then, the beetle has spread across the United States, moving to Quebec in 1995, encroaching north as far as the Upper Laurentians.

Adults adapt easily and leave their shelter in spring to mate. The species reproduces a lot, probably two generations a year in Quebec, sometimes three if it’s a hot, long summer, Giroux explained.

Read  ARK: Direwolf - How to Tame, Feed and Breed!

How do we distinguish Asian ladybugs and ladybugs?

One of the largest species of its kind in Quebec, Asian ladybugs vary in length from 4.8 to 7.5 millimeters. Their colors vary from yellow, orange, and red to black, and they can have anywhere from zero to 20 spots. In Canada, the most common form is orange with 19 black spots, Giroux said.

To make sure you’re dealing with Asian ladybugs and not ladybugs, look for a black “M” or “W” on the insect’s thorax just behind its head.

In both cases you can make a wish!

Are there more Asian ladybugs in Quebec this year?

Asian ladybugs congregate in October and look for a place indoors to survive our cold winters, which is why you’ve surely seen more little red and orange creatures this month.

“Every year they will try to come back and invade from the same place to find shelter between our walls. They need an average temperature of between 15 and 18 degrees to survive,” Giroux told MTL Blog.

The entomologist suspected that the current brief increase in temperature could also encourage them to come out of their hiding places.

Although it could appear like there will be more Asian ladybugs in Quebec in 2022, Giroux said that would be impossible to verify.

Should we get rid of them?

The exotic Asian ladybug is harmless to humans, although they sometimes bite. Giroux said there are ongoing studies looking at the effects of the species’ introduction on other species of ladybugs in Canada.

Read  How to Host an Offsite That Boosts Morale

But they have an important ecological role, she claimed. The beetle is a predator of aphids and small insects that attack plants and can therefore be used by farmers as a form of biological pest control. Asian ladybugs are also a food source for many animals such as birds.

The Montreal Insectarium explains how to stop the insects from entering your home online.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *