A pesky kind of ladybug could be coming to a home near you.
According to Health Canada, Asian lady beetles were brought to North America in the 1970s to control crop-eating insects.
But entomologist Taz Stuart told CTV news that unlike ladybugs native to North American, the Asian lady beetle has been known to bite.
“They look like a ladybug, and at this time of year they’re coming in from the crops and the fields, and now looking for a place to stay over the winter and hibernate,” Stuart said.
And with cooler temperatures, Stuart said people can expect to see a buildup of the pests around cracks, crevices, door frames and windowsills.
Stuart works for Poulin’s Pest Control, and said he noticed a spike last October in people reaching out about the insects.
“Previous to 2016, you really wouldn’t see a lot of Asian lady beetles around here,” Stuart said
“But last year we had an increase: a good number of calls in the fall around Halloween, and people were concerned.”
The busy season prompted Stuart to dub them Halloween bugs.
Stuart said the beetles can be problematic in a home, as they will leave a stench in they die in numbers.
According to Health Canada, Asian lady beetles do not transmit disease, and can range from mustard yellow to dark reddish orange with spots or no spots at all.
Asian lady beetles will also often have an M-shaped marking behind their heads.
A regular visitor to the Maple Grove Dog Park, Jessica Nikkel said she first came across the insects was when walking on a back trail recently with her pup Molly.
She had what felt like a black fly bite, but was surprised when she looked down.
“And sure enough I looked and it was ladybug,” Nikkel said.
Byron Hildebrand walks in the area every day with his dog Tash, and told CTV he had a similar experience.
“I was just walking along the path and I felt this pinprick feeling and saw a lady bug,” Hildebrand said.
Both expressed surprise that a ladybug would bite.
If the bugs infest a home, Stuart said there’s a number of ways to deal with them, including vacuuming them up and throwing them out.