There's a good chance that upon your first glimpse, these appear to be ladybugs. At least that's what I thought.

After all, they have that adorably round shape and polka-dotted body we've all come to know and love and recognize in East Texas. But actually, these aren't ladybugs. They are Asian lady BEETLES.

OK, big deal, right? They're still pretty much the same, right?

Well, obviously there are similarities between the ladybug and the Asian beetle. But they are definitely not the same.

I first noticed them a couple of years ago. Apparently, they really like big windows because about 18 million of them seemed to invade my sunroom overnight. They were EVERYWHERE.

Honestly, even when I thought they WERE ladybugs, and was smiling despite their infiltration into my home--I was also a little creeped out.

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So what's the difference between ladybugs and Asian beetles?

Well, apparently the Asian beetle IS another type of ladybug. After all, there are over 5,000 types. But if you look at them side by side you'll notice that the ladybug is red with those signature black spots. The Asian beetles range in color, but the ones I've seen are definitely more orange. Some have spots, but not all.

The Asian lady beetles were actually released into the North American eco-system so that they may prey upon some of the more unwanted garden pests. And...let's just say they've been THRIVING ever since.

Also, you may want to be careful. While ladybugs seem to just happily crawl and flit about, Asian ladybeetles DO have little pinchers and according to VulcanTermite.com, they have been known to bite if they feel threatened.

We've even heard from some East Texans who've said to watch your pets around them. In some severe cases, they'd noticed many of them had gotten into their pet's mouth and were nesting around their gum area. OMG. *runs away screaming in horror.*

So what should we do regarding the Asian lady beetles? Do we need to terminate them or what?

Despite their little pinchers, personally, I think I'd find it difficult to try and assassinate them. However, if you're concerned you may want to reach out to your pest control person.

Other options include sucking them up with your vacuum cleaner (how sad, kinda), making sure your home is sealed very well, and making sure your vegetation outside is well-tended. They tend to proliferate in overgrown areas.

Also, keep an eye on your dogs and cats. I think I may have nightmares for months due to that imagery. Yikes.

Have you experienced an infestation of Asian lady beetles? Any issues regarding your pets?

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