Ladybugs swarming homes in fall is a common occurrence. However, folks in Tennessee are experiencing particularly large swarms of the Asian lady beetles this year. According to an Oct. 31, 2013 report by Christian Science Monitor, the insects seek warmth and shelter this time of year as they prepare to hibernate for the winter.
At least one Tennessee resident reported a million ladybugs swarming her home. Fortunately, ladybugs are generally not harmful to humans. However, they may bite if provoked. Their bite is non-poisonous, but it may result in a condition similar to conjunctivitis.
The Asian lady beetle is an invasive species that was "introduced into the United States in 1988 for the purpose of reducing native aphid populations," according to Creature Control. It is different from the indigenous American ladybug, which has been largely replaced by the invasive species.
Earlier this week, it was the crazy ants, so-called due to their propensity to exhibit movements that are nonlinear and random, that were getting all the media attention. Now, it's the ladybugs swarming, particularly across Tennessee.
Of course, ladybugs swarming aren't all bad. In the Mall of America, the beetles serve as natural pesticides. Check out the video at the top of the page for details.
Visit the USDA website for more information.