Cooler weather is slowing down the Asian lady beetles who are trying to find their way into warm homes where they can stay semi-dormant until spring.
John Gavloski is an entomologist with Manitoba Agriculture. He says the multi-coloured Asian lady beetles are fairly new to Manitoba, having only been in our province for around two decades.
The beetles look similar to lady bugs. Two big differences are that the beetles bite and they give off an offensive odour when they bleed.
“They can purposely make themselves bleed if they want to,” Gavloski explains. “It’s called reflex bleeding.”
When these beetles are frightened, they can make themselves bleed from their leg joints, leaving behind a smelly, yellow fluid. Gavloski says, that yellow fluid is “lady beetle blood.”
While it’s rather bothersome to have these beetles flying around indoors, Gavloski is quick to point out the benefits of having these bugs around.
Their main diet is aphids and that means these bugs are extremely helpful in controlling the aphid population in crops. The number of lady beetles is quite dependent on their food supply each year.
Gavloski considers this a moderately high level of lady beetles as a result of higher levels of aphids in some of the cereal crops and trees.
But he’s quick to add, "we’ve had much worse,” recalling the extremely high population levels of 2017.