The ladybugs have started to swarm. They're all over the outside of the house, especially on the areas painted white. The dots you see in the picture below are ladybugs.
Want to know something embarrassing? I never knew ladybugs did this in the fall. I never knew that these ladybugs I've seen all my life aren't actually native insects. Instead they're Asian lady beetles. (There apparently are native ladybugs but they're not spotted like these.)
According to my Internet research, they're moving from their summer feeding grounds to warm spots where they can spend the winter, and our house looks like Nirvana here in the woods. We never had these large numbers of them in the fall in either our old suburban neighborhood in Georgia or our suburban neighborhood in Maryland.
I'm just going to speculate that's either because of the amount of pesticides used in those neighborhoods (by other people), or because now we live near agricultural fields where mass quantities of them may have been let loose to kill pests.
I also never knew that people consider them pests themselves. I've always thought of them as beneficial insects. They are, but apparently during the fall they can infest people's homes to an annoying degree. One of the articles recommended just vaccuuming them up if that happens. That's something I never thought I'd be adding to the winter checklist! (Put away summer clothes. Bring out winter clothes. Vaccuum up the ladybugs.)
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