Historically, Lady Beetles, were recognized as a beneficial insect because of their diet. They are known to eat aphids, plant-killing insects, overall making them a welcome addition to a garden or farm. The entire family of beetles was therefore 'dedicated' to 'Our Lady' in appreciation for their aid in growing food. They are called ladybugs in the U.S. and ladybirds in the U.K.. Despite working wonders to clear pests from the garden, however, the exotic Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle has become somewhat of a pest itself.
This species of Lady Beetle is actually from China, Japan and eastern Russia. It believed to have been introduced to North America in the late 1970s. This species is hardy and fecund, adapting to a variety of habitats and temperature ranges. Hence, it is beginning to replace the native North American species of lady beetles across the continent.
In addition to the loss of native strongholds, this species overwinters in cluster, usually in warm buildings (homes, offices), where a few can make their way from the cold outside walls into the building interior. They emit a pungent odor (as a defense against predators) which, en masse, can create an unappealing smell in the area of the building where they congregate. They also bite.
Their coloration varies greatly between individuals. Wingless larvae appear hairy and tube-like with ridges and a spiny appearance. Adults have shiny, rounded bodies and can be orange to brown to tan with a variety of black spots on them.
Common name: Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle
Scientific Name: Harmonia axyridis
Other Names: Asian Ladybug
Adult Size (Length): 4mm to 8mm (0.16in to 0.31in) COMPARE
Identifying Colors: orange; yellow; black; tan
General Description: ladybug, smelly, spiny, harmful, flying, biting
North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan and Mexico
* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.