Last week my boyfriend and I were outside repainting the porch on the south side of my house. I was looking at the pillars and saw a number of Asian Multicolored Lady Beetles gathering towards the top. Look a little bit further down and I see a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) on the same pillar. It's definitely that time of year where we are seeing insects that are going to be looking for places to overwinter start showing up on the exterior of houses and buildings. These insects, if they do find ways indoors are a nuisance but don't reproduce while indoors.
Asian Multicolored Lady Beetle – Sometimes they seem to overwhelm in sheer numbers on walls or bouncing off your head as they fly through the air. These Japanese native insects, while annoying are still beneficial. The larva are voracious eaters of a variety of bad soft bodied insects such as aphids and the adults will consume the same bad insects. They usually overwinter in cliffs so the next best thing is your house - under siding, or any nook or crevice they can find.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug – This insect is an invasive pest that can be damaging to a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and woody ornamentals. They do not bite humans or animals, just feed and damage plants. They look similar to other stink bugs but they have a few distinguishing features – little white triangles around the back of their outer shell and alternating white and black bands on their antennae. You can find out more about BMSD by visiting http://www.stopbmsb.org/
Boxelder Bug – Black with orange and red markings and approximately 1/2" long. These bugs I remember seeing the entire time I was growing up. Adults and nymphs feed on emerging boxelder foliage in the spring causing distortion and only feed on female boxelder. They don't bite and are harmless, just simply annoying.
Leaf Footed Bugs – These brown guys look similar to squash bugs but have a wide lower hind leg. There are a few different species throughout the USA, all have similar life cycles just different feeding preferences. They are harmless to people and pets. Like those above are just looking for places to overwinter.
So how to deal with all of these guys? First off inspect your home for easy entrances – cracks and crevices around windows, doors, foundations. Seal up those open spaces to help minimize them from contributing to the nuisance bug invasion of 2017. If they do make it inside, you can suck them up with a vacuum or promptly catch them and toss them out the door.