Starting in the month of October, Tennessee residents began to notice an abundance of ladybugs on their property.
These red, yellow and orange dotted insects came in swarms and covered people’s cars, houses and gardens, causing annoyance among residents.
Many people question where the ladybugs came from and why there seems to be an overabundance.
“They have no natural enemies so their survival rate is high,” said professor of animal science Bruce Greene.
Assistant professor of agricultural engineering James Baier said the ladybugs have been most commonly seen on buildings and houses.
“The swarms have congregated around buildings to get in from the winter weather,” said Greene.
Although the ladybug surplus seems unusual, it has happened before.
“This isn’t the first time it has happened either,” Baier said. “I would say ten or twelve years ago we had the same problem.”
Baier said the pesky insects have been reported in surrounding counties as well as surrounding states.
“They seem to be increasing every year,” said Greene.
The original location or explanation of the abundance of ladybugs is unsure, but Baier said he has a theory on why the bugs suddenly appeared.
“My speculation is because of the mild winter we had followed by the rainy summer,” said Baier.
Although they are a nuisance to residents, ladybugs are harmless and help protect surrounding plant life.
“They eat aphids, which are pests to the plants and trees around here,” said Greene.
Until the bugs relocate, Tennessee citizens must learn to live with them.
“This is a prolific problem all over but it won’t last forever,” said Baier.