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Distinguishing a Pest-Controller from a Pest Among Ladybugs

Making It Grow Radio Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Ladybug larvae, both native and imported, are described as looking like alligators, and they’re the real deal pest controllers --eating five or six times more than adults. Learn how to recognize them: the non-native Asian ladybug beetle, which has a huge appetite, is a pest, as it finds ways to get in your house when cold weather comes. They can bite if disturbed, but their most aggravating trait is that they are reflex bleeders – if you bother them, they release a nasty-smelling yellow liquid that stains fabric. There are all sorts of suggestions on how to spend a year and a half caulking and sealing every possible entry point, or, you can use a handheld vacuum or, if on the ceiling, use a vacuum with a long hose and gather them up.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.