While you may enjoy seeing the occasional ladybug outside in your garden, you may not appreciate the onslaught that happens every spring and fall when hordes of them make their way into your home. Not only can they be a visual nuisance, they could also be a source of your or your family's allergies. To get rid of them without spreading toxic chemicals throughout your home, use the following three-step guide.
Step 1: Vacuum Up Any Ladybugs You See
The first step involves clearing all the areas in your home that are infested by ladybugs. This typically includes windows and doors, as well as the ceiling and walls around them. If it is cool outside, they may also congregate around your heat vents. A quick way to remove these visible bugs is to suck them up with your vacuum cleaner.
Before you begin, put in a fresh vacuum cleaner bag. Then, using the extension wand and brush for your cleaner, vacuum up all the ladybugs residing on any flat surfaces. Then, replace the brush with a crevice tool to get the ones in corners or the crevices around your windows.
Once you have vacuumed all of the areas, remove the bag, and place it in a plastic grocery or trash bag. Then, take it outside immediately. Do not leave it in the vacuum cleaner, since the ladybugs will still be alive and could crawl out while the cleaner is not in use.
Step 2: Wipe The Surfaces With Ammonia And Clove Oil
After you have removed any ladybugs that you can see, the next step is to wipe down your windows, doors and walls with a mixture that includes ammonia and clove oil. Both of these contain a strong scent that ladybugs find repulsive.
In a gallon bucket, mix together four cups of warm water, a cup of ammonia and 20 drops of clove oil. Using a clean rag or sponge, wipe down the areas from which you had to vacuum any ladybugs. Let the surfaces air dry. Do not rinse the areas, since you want the residue from the oil and ammonia to remain as a deterrent.
Step 3: Hang Homemade Sachets
Once you have cleared and cleaned the ladybugs' favorite spots, the next step is to make and hang homemade sachets containing strong-smelling ingredients that will repel any future insects. The ingredients used are lemon or orange peels, whole cloves and bay leaves. For each sachet, you will need a 12-inch by 12-inch piece of muslin or cotton fabric, as well as a 12-inch length of twine or yarn.
Lay the fabric out on a flat surface. Then, place two peels, a tablespoon of cloves and five bay leaves in the center. Bring the four corners to the center and pull them up. Twist them together, then tie one end of the twine or yarn to keep them closed. Repeat for each sachet you need.
When choosing the areas to hang the sachets, first look for any gaps around your doors or windows that could serve as a potential entryway for the ladybugs. Hang one at each of these gaps using a thumb tack around which you can tie the other end of the string.
Next, place a sachet in every window and above the doors. Replace the sachets every two weeks, since the odors can dissipate over time and become less effective.
Using the above steps can help keep your home clear of massive numbers of ladybugs. However, if you cannot seem to get rid of them, and they are causing allergy symptoms in you or your loved ones, you may want to speak to a pest control service such as Eagle Pest Eliminators to discuss your options.