Ladybug infestation: good luck or misfortune?

Ladybugs climb on the windowsill of a Kroner dorm room.
Ladybugs climb on the windowsill of a Kroner dorm room.

By Julia Ernst

Ladybugs may be considered lucky, but senior Stephanie Pypniowski has seen so many ladybugs in the past week that she never wants to be lucky again.

“We have so many ladybugs inside of our apartment that we have to use a vacuum around the windows on a daily basis,” said Pypniowski, a communication major, who first noticed the ladybugs on Tuesday evening. “I know they are supposed to be lucky, but this is gross.”

During the past week, students in a number of the residence halls, as well as students in some Greek houses, have noticed an abundance of ladybugs crawling around.

According to Dr. Laura Hyatt, associate professor of biology, the sudden presence of so many of these bugs is not as unusual as many students may think.

“There was a warm spell, so they all eclosed, which basically means that the pupa hatched,” Hyatt said, meaning the ladybugs went through their final transformation to become full-grown. “It got cold again, so they ran inside.”

Rikki Herman, a senior elementary education and psychology dual major who is also a sister in Alpha Xi Delta, had more than 40 ladybugs in her room on Wednesday night.

“They were crawling all over the walls, surrounding my window,” Herman said. “They were on my curtains and they were climbing on my bed. They were getting in my sheets and stuff.”

However, as of yesterday, Herman was ladybug-free.

“Facilities came and sucked them up with a vacuum,” she said. “They came [Thursday morning] after I sent them a work order Wednesday afternoon. They responded really quickly. I was really happy about it.”

According to Dean of Students Anthony Campbell, students can try on their own to control the volume of ladybugs in their residence hall rooms.

“I’m not an exterminator, but the best advice I’ve been given is that they don’t respond to bug spray, and that you have to vacuum them and physically remove them from the area,” Campbell said.

Hyatt offered similar advice to students.

“You can catch them and release them outside,” she said.

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