Is there another invasive bug coming to New Jersey?


Jami Van Orden

The Spotted Lanternfly was the first invasive bug affecting New Jersey earlier this year, but the Asian Lady Beetle may be proposing another threat. These multi-colored bugs are native to China, Russia, Korea, and Japan but have found their way to the mid-Atlantic United States. With the unusual warm fall weather we are experiencing in New Jersey the Asian Lady Beetle has not had to find a place to spend the winter; either under bark or inside buildings. People are finding swarms of Lady Beetles around their houses trying to find a place to burrow for the winter. Their favorite places to hunker down in houses are corners of walls or on the sides of windows. Though these bugs do not present an immediate danger to humans as they do not carry diseases, they can bite. Their bites have been described as “a tickle” and are not painful. Surprisingly, the Lady Beetles are doing more good than they are harming the environment. The Asian Beetles feed on aphids which take the nutrients out of plant leaves and kill them. So, when the beetles kill the aphids the plants have one less predator to worry about! Though these Asian Lady Beetles are considered invasive species, they are helping our ecosystem prosper, not hurting it. Many people mistake the beetles for ladybugs, as they look very similar to each other including the spots on their red-yellow shells. But, the Asian Lady Beetles have a foul smell when squished, similar to a stink bug. All in all, the Asian Lady Beetle is helping our plants and trees, though they are a nuisance to homeowners when they try to burrow inside of their houses.