Lady beetles everywhere, but are just a nuisance

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Lady beetles everywhere, but are just a nuisance

 
SPRINGFIELD -

The small, ladybug-like insects that seem to be swarming everywhere lately are looking for some nice Illinois homes where they can spend the winter, an expert says.

In their native land, Asian lady beetles would normally winter in the mountains. But because this area is bereft of high peaks, they are looking for the next best thing - big, two-story white farmhouses, for instance, said Mike Roegge, a crop systems educator with the Adams-Brown unit of the University of Illinois Extension Office.

"They hibernate as adult beetles - anyplace they can find," Roegge said. "They prefer sheltered areas, so that's why they find their way into homes."

The Asian lady beetle population has grown exponentially recently because of an increase in one of their chief food sources, the soybean aphid. Its numbers rose this year due to the unusually cool summer.

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