The Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis), also known as the Asian ladybug or Asian ladybird, is a species of lady beetle, a type of beetle belonging to the family Coccinellidae. These insects are native to Asia, as the name suggests, and were introduced to other parts of the world, including North America and Europe, for biological pest control purposes.
Asian lady beetles are often confused with native ladybug species because of their similar appearance. They are typically small, round, and dome-shaped beetles, and their coloring can vary, but they are commonly orange to red with black spots. The number of black spots on their wing covers (elytra) can range from none to as many as 19, but they usually have around 7 spots.
These beetles are valued in agriculture and gardening because they are voracious predators of plant-eating insects, particularly aphids, which are a common garden pest. Farmers and gardeners often release them as a form of biological control to help manage aphid populations.
However, Asian lady beetles can sometimes become a nuisance when they seek shelter indoors, especially during the fall and winter months. They may enter homes in large numbers and emit a foul-smelling defensive chemical when disturbed, which can be bothersome to some people.