The Asian Lady Beetle was introduced in the 90's in the Tennessee Valley to help farmers. Many use the beetle as a natural way of reducing the need for pesticides, because it feeds on mites. But, they've taken over. Pest control businesses report receiving several calls about the nuisance bug this week.
Harsh winters kill bugs, and last winter was mild, leaving more behind.
Tim Rodgers, a service supervisor with Jody Millard Pest Control says, "The more common lady has seven spots, but they're going to be a variety of colors, so you can't always go by it's red and has this many spots."
They're not known to carry or transmit diseases, and overall are a beneficial species. But if they feel threatened, you'll know.
Pest control experts say the beetle is known to bite. It can also give off an odor or leave a yellow stain behind. The best way to keep them from entering your home is to caulk around windows, doors, and garage doors. Weather stripping can also help.
Rodgers adds, "Once they get in and leave a pheromone, they can return the next year, and you can continue to have problems."
At the end of winter in late January and February, if we get a mild day, beetles that have been hibernating will get confused and come out of the cracks in your home, thinking it's spring.
Pest Tech of Chattanooga tells Channel 3, don't be surprised if you see these guys resurface in February.
To report an infestation call Jody Millard Pest Control at (423) 877-0111.
Have a weather-related story? Feel free to email Meteorologist Brittany Beggs.