How to get rid of ladybugs in three easy ways

Harlequin ladybug on leaf
Harlequin ladybug on leaf (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’ve spotted ladybugs in your home, you’ll need to know how to get rid of ladybugs fast. While these tiny, red insects are beneficial for our gardens, these can become a nuisance if you have a home invasion. 

It’s important to note that there are over 5,000 species of ladybugs, so you won’t always be dealing with the same type. Typically, native ladybugs are harmless, tend to stay outdoors and are beneficial for eating plant-damaging insects like aphids. Harlequin infestations on the other hand can stain walls, fabrics, and paper products, as well as release an odor. While these species are not poisonous, their bites are known to cause allergic reactions

Luckily, there are easy ways to get rid of ladybugs without the use of strong insecticides or expensive products. So if you want to prevent an indoor infestation this season, follow these top tips on how to get rid of ladybugs fast.

1. Seal any gaps or crevices 

Caulk gun sealing window base

Caulk gun sealing window base (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Prevention is key to eliminating ladybugs from entering. Using a caulk gun/applicator, seal gaps or small openings around window frames,doors, exterior walls and even around utility pipes.  Once any openings are sealed, this will prevent ladybugs or any other pests making their way indoors. In addition, you can place weatherstipping along doors, windows or any other entrance.  

2. Create homemade repellents 

White vinegar

White vinegar (Image credit: Shutterstock)

First, pour white vinegar into an empty spray bottle, and generously spray on the affected surfaces or areas. Not only will the vinegar suffocate the insects, but will also remove the pheromones they release to attract other ladybugs. This should repel and reduce the number of ladybugs entering your home. 

Alternatively, make a ladybug trap from a bowl of dish soap and water. Ladybugs are generally drawn to the light, so place the bowl next to a window or a bright lamp. The idea is for the ladybugs to land in the water, and get trapped.

3. Deter ladybugs with scents 

Citronella oils

Citronella oils (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Similar to knowing how to get rid of ants safely, ladybugs don’t like the smell of citronella or citrus. Place citronella or citrus-scented candles around your home, near entrances. If you don’t want to use candles, you can also add a drop of citrus essential oil into a spray bottle of water, and generously spray around entrances or trouble areas. 

If none of these methods work, or you have an infestation on your hands, it’s time to call in the pest control. They will assess your problem correctly, and carry out the suitable treatment for your home.

Other ways to get rid of ladybugs 

  •  If you only see a few ladybugs around, vacuum up with one of the best vacuum cleaners, and dispose of them in a sealed plastic bag to be thrown out .
  • Fragrant bay leaves are a good deterrent, as ladybugs hate the strong scent.
  • Invest in an insect light trap from your local gardening center and simply place it in the area where you spot ladybugs. 

Where will you find ladybugs hiding in the home? 

Ladybugs tend to overwinter in places such as wall crevices, cracks around window frames, sills and door frames. You’ll also spot these insects hiding in gaps behind baseboards so it’s always important to properly seal and know how to clean baseboards

How do I deal with ladybugs outside? 

Ladybugs on leaf

Ladybugs on leaf (Image credit: Shutterstock)

It’s always best to leave outdoor ladybugs alone. Not only are they beneficial for eliminating garden pests, but they will eventually move on as the seasons change. 

If you're bedeviled by other pests, we've also get tips on how to get rid of mosquitoes and how to get rid of fleas

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!