Ladybugs Swarm Middle Tennessee in Record Numbers - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Ladybugs Swarm Middle Tennessee In Record Numbers

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by Emily Luxen           

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Suddenly, swarms of ladybugs are appearing on homes and businesses across middle Tennessee.

David Cook, an Entomologist and Davidson County Extension Agent, said the insects typically surface this time of year, but this year, due to perfect conditions, the population has skyrocketed.

"We have perfect weather conditions, and a large food population," said Cook.  "This is a perfect insect storm."

Cook said the multi-colored Asian Lady Beetles are simply looking for warmth and shelter, and are drawn to light colored structures.  The insects are not harmful to humans, but do omit a strange odor.  More than anything, they are just a nuisance to residents.

"I'm hearing not only from Davidson County, but surrounding counties that all of a sudden they just show up."

Diane Stroud was shocked by the number of ladybugs that suddenly congregated on her Lebanon home.

"There were probably one million of them," said Stroud.  "They were all over the porch, the far side of the house, everything was covered."

Stroud said luckily, none had made it inside the house.  Cook said the best way to prevent that from happening is by sealing all cracks by doors and windows, as well as repairing tears in screens and keeping siding in good repair.  To help eliminate the ladybugs, Cook recommends using a vacuum cleaner to capture as many as possible, or to spray the area with insecticide.

"It will get worse before it gets better," said Cook.  " We will need a couple of good, hard freezes to get rid of them."

Stroud said she still can't believe how the ladybugs seemed to appear out of thin air.

"We were just sitting at home and noticed a few outside.  We went out to look and there were tons flying around.  We were really shocked."

Cook predicts the ladybug population won't be as large next Fall.  The year after a booming population, the numbers typically decrease.

The infestation isn't limited to Tennessee.  Swarms of the lady bugs have been spotted throughout the Midwest, parts of the Northeast, and even in Canada.


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