As warm temperatures hang around this fall, Asian lady beetles have begun to hang around in campus buildings. The beetles, which resemble ladybugs, have been spotted en masse in areas of both North and South campus.
“They hide, and then when it warms up like this, they come out,” Chief Business Officer Mark Kohlman said. “So you get these as we go into winter.”
According to ohioline.com, multicolored Asian lady beetles made their way to Ohio in 1993. The invasive species is known for its ability to infiltrate buildings and tendency to gather in swarms.
Community Advisor Alasia Destine-DeFreece ’21 said that dozens of bugs have been found in every campus residence area, from the North Campus Apartments (NCAs) to her home in Old Kenyon. To date, she says that she and her friends have removed more than 40 bugs from her room. They’ve handled the infestation by vacuuming up the beetles or collecting them in a cup.
“At one point, I dropped the cup that we were using [to collect the bugs], and they were just everywhere,” she said. “I yelled, I cursed, and then I left my room for like 12 hours because I just couldn’t do it anymore.”
In NCA 16, home to the Environmental Campus Organization (ECO), the beetles were given a more welcoming reception.
“My housemates say ladybugs are good luck,” Hadley Seymour ’22 said. “So we have a lot of good luck.”
Kohlman is less sentimental. “If they were outside, they’d be eaten by every other animal looking for food in the winter, so don’t feel bad,” he said. “We just suck them up in our vacuum and keep going.”
For the Gambier resident, Asian lady beetles are simply a fact of life.
“Nothing you can do about them,” Kohlman said. “They’re in everybody’s house. They’re in every building … They’re just everywhere.”