Asian Lady Beetle (Multicolored Asian Ladybird Beetle, Asian Ladybug) -
Scientific Name: Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), Mid July, Phippsburg Maine. The Asian Lady Beetle was introduced from Southeast Asia as a biological control against crop pests. They eat aphids like candy! Asian Ladybird Beetles are anecdotally suspected to be responsible for a decrease in the numbers of native beneficial insects through predation and by elimination of scarce prey, although this has not been scientifically proven. Annoyingly, the beetles seek shelter for overwintering, and when a location is found, they emit an "aggregating pheromone" to attract other beetles. Often, they choose a human home and gather in the dozens, hundreds or thousands. They remain in that location through the winter, annoying us with their numbers, smell, and biting. The yellow, odorous defensive compound may also stain furniture, carpets and draperies.