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The Best Way to Kill Ladybugs

By Wesley Demarest ; Updated September 21, 2017
Ladybugs are helpful in the garden, but a pest indoors.

Ladybugs are often touted as the gardener's little helper, eating aphids and other bugs that can cause harm to precious plants. However, too many ladybugs, and their imported cousin, the Asian lady beetle, could become more bothersome than beneficial when they begin finding their way indoors. Ladybugs won't lay eggs indoors -- they get into homes via open doors and windows and cracks in siding. Traditional chemical insect control methods aren't an effective means of control for the hard-shelled insects. The most effective way of destroying an interior infestation is a simple vacuum cleaner.

Step 1

Insert a knee-high nylon stocking toe-first into a vacuum cleaner's hose, rolling a few inches of the end of the nylon back over the lip of the hose and securing it with a rubber band.

Step 2

Vacuum up the ladybugs, paying special attention to window sills and door jams, where they like to congregate.

Step 3

Remove the rubber band and hold the stocking closed as soon as the vacuum is turned off. Use the rubber band to tie the stocking, preventing the lady bugs from escaping.

Step 4

Throw the stocking away or empty the contents into a toilet and flush. If you want to ensure that the ladybugs are killed in the process, crush the bag of bugs before throwing it in the trash. Alternatively, you can put a handful of diatomaceous earth into the stocking before throwing it away. Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring abrasive powder made from the fossilized remains of algae. It is believed to cut through the exoskeleton of hard-shelled insects like ladybugs, causing them to die from dehydration.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Knee-high nylon
  • Rubber band
  • Diatomaceous earth (optional)

Warning

  • Avoid the use of insecticides when dealing with ladybugs. According to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, chemical treatments like "bug bombs" and insecticidal sprays are temporarily effective at best.

About the Author

 

Wesley Demarest is a newspaper editor in Manteca, Calif. He has worked as a reporter and editor since 1996, with his byline appearing in California newspapers such as the "Manteca Bulletin" and "Turlock Journal." Demarest attended Delta College in Stockton, Calif.