Fall is an exciting time but for those who struggle with Asian beetles, it can be a nightmare. At times it can be hard to tell an Asian beetle apart from a ladybug as an Asian beetle can have an extreme range in color. They can range from light tan to shades of orange to vibrant red and all with varying amounts of black spots. One sure way to spot the difference is an “M” or “W” shaped white spot behind it’s head. The yellow stain with the acrid odor is used as a defense mechanism against birds or other predators.
Asian beetles mainly live in forests, gardens and fields feeding on agricultural pests like aphids, scale, and other soft-bodied insects that will harm crops and gardens. Once autumn comes these little adult beetles have the want to find shelter. One main factor that draws them into a house or building to hibernate is how illuminated the surface is. They gravitate to the sunny, southwest sides of buildings, a home or shop with a contrast in colors (example: dark shutters on a light house), or a dwelling near woods or a field. Once they find a shelter, Asian beetles will swarm and have been known to bite. When a suitable spot is found, the beetles will hibernate. A warm winter day may bring them out of hibernation in which case they will wonder to a warmer area like an interior room in a home.
For more, see this week’s North Star News.