Camera Critters - Thirsty Ladybug

One morning this week, I had the sudden realization that I was not showering alone! Apparently, a thirsty little red ladybug decided that the shower was a good place to get a drink. Trouble is, she almost drowned before I realized she was there.

ladybug photo by Adrienne Zwart

This isn't the first time we've had ladybugs in the house. In fact, the first year that we lived here, we noticed several of them in one of our basement storage rooms. More a curiosity to us than a nuisance, we began to wonder how so many were finding their way inside.

These ladybugs (actually multi-colored Asian lady beetles - not our native ladybugs) hibernate in the winter often in the crevices of the siding of homes. Exterior walls with southwestern exposure are their favorite choice because the sun provides heat. They are also drawn to wooded areas and some have suggested that they are attracted to light colors.
  • Our home faces south and also has western exposure. Check.
  • Our backyard has large trees and is adjacent to a small wooded area. Check.
  • The siding is light gray. Check.
We might as well have installed a neon Vacancy sign.

All that information explained why we frequently saw them in that end of the house, but we were still puzzled as to how they were getting inside our new home. Since the initial sightings of them occurred in the basement storeroom, we began evaluating whether there might be cracks that needed sealing up. Sure enough, the conduit that ran through the cinder block out to the electric meter had not been caulked. That was simple enough to fix.

We still do get them occasionally upstairs in the master suite, where I expect they find tiny cracks around the windows. Obviously, we could control that simply by applying pesticides around the window casings, but these little creatures are so helpful in my garden that I'm willing to put up with the occasional intrusion. Besides, I don't want toxic chemicals inside my home.

Scientists are currently working on an organic repellent, but until then, the best mechanical control method seems to be sealing up cracks and vacuuming up the critters (or just picking them up) to be released outdoors. That has worked really well for us.

So if you find a thirsty ladybug in your shower, just know she's there for a drink after waking up from her long winter's nap. Once you get dressed, you can put her outside to work in your garden. That's what I did. :)

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Bruce said…
Lovely ladybug...nice of her to keep you company:)
drewmark19 said…
Okay, I'm impressed by 3 things:
1. You knowledge of all things wildlife
2. That you got a camera in the midst of taking a shower to photograph your ladybug
3. That your shower is so clean

#3 especially...that just isn't right. I'm betting that ladybug is searching for some mildew or soap scum or something. Feed that poor bug!
LOL, Drew. I had Ethan grab my camera for me. :) And I have a thing for squeegee-ing my shower. I hate mildew.
Terri said…
Fantastic photo. Ladybugs are so interesting - but I have friends who've had infestations, definitely not a fun thing.
Dirk said…
Yes, in our bathroom it's each winter full of ladybugs who want to spend the winter in our house.
Grammy said…
Lady bugs are said to be lucky. Great photo!
i beati said…
How very lovely Sandy my favorite today !!
Bryan said…
Nice spot. I'm not sure I would've seen the little one before the very thing it was looking for washed it away.
Babooshka said…
We call those cutie ladybirds and sure sign of spring.
This ladybug is likely the Asian variety brought to North America a few years ago. They can squeeze through cracks and get into homes. Our native ladybugs don't do that.

Having said that, this is a fantastic photo!
My mom use to get alot of lady bugs when she lived in ohio.but here in MA not so much. I think they are neat.
Anonymous said…
Great photo! Nice detail.
Hi Adrienne, We have a little trouble also with ladybugs--especially certain times of the year. They seem to come in swarms and then are gone as quickly as they come.

Don't ever try to kill one. Those little beauties really STINK... ha

Have a great Sunday.
Misty Dawn said…
We get LOTS of them here! We also get the other Asian beetles which look like Ladybugs, but are more orange and bite and stink too. I like your ladybug better ;-)
Yes, I did clarify that this particular individual was an Asian lady beetle, not the ladybug native to these parts. We've been fortunate to have just a few visitors, but I have read accounts of swarms and infestations that are very unpleasant. Though this beetle has been known to bite, we have never had that happen either. Maybe they sense that we like ladybugs. :)
Bengbeng said…
i think i know this ladybug. remove them if u like but dont crush them. there is an awful odour if you do
Plattner Ranch said…
Hi Adrienne
We deal with the infestation. Last fall I couldn't even take a walk because of the bugs; I could stand perfectly still and be pelted by several of those things per second! I have been awakened during the night with one of them crawling up my nose. And I have had the horrible experience of taking a sip of my water in the middle of the (dark) night only to find out that I wasn't the only one interested in wetting my whistle ~ they taste worse than they smell!!! I have also dug remainders out of my little ones mouths. (GAG) When they are out in full force we sweep them up, but once they thin out I just flick them out of my way.

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