So, you need to get rid of some ladybugs in your camper.
In this guide, you’ll learn about:
- Why ladybugs are entering your camper
- How to get rid of ladybugs in your RV
- How to repel them from coming back
- Home remedies to control and manage them
- And more
By the end of it, you should everything you need to know about ridding these pests from your camper.
Feel free to bookmark this page if you need to easily refer back to during those long hours on the road and you’re trying to flick off that ladybug on your arm!
Let’s get started.
Last updated: 12/30/19.
What causes a ladybug infestation in my camper?
There’s no specific reason why ladybugs are appearing all of a sudden in your camper.
The main reason why they emerge is none other than warmer ambient temperature that’s comfortable to them. Yup.
That’s the main reason. It’s not that they’re out to get you or anything. The weather is warming up is the driving force behind ladybugs appearing seemingly everywhere.
The temperature variation between indoor (such as inside your RV) compared to outdoors can make all the difference. They’re attracted to heat.
So whichever one is warmer will be the direction they’re headed:
- If your camper is warmer than the outdoors, ladybugs come in.
- If the outdoors are warmer than your camper, ladybugs go out.
They’re also very attracted to campers that have lighter colors.
My friend has a cream-colored camper and has been dealing with ladybug problems for weeks now.
Ever since he traveled out of state, the ladybugs appear nonstop. He goes to bed and wakes up with ladybugs in his kitchen, toilet, and all over his couch. I guess the ladybugs are congregating in his RV overnight due to the warmth.
They may also be seeking warmth from the cold outdoors.
How are the ladybugs getting into my camper?
Any kind of crevice, crack, or another opening is all they need.
They’re not the brightest bug and will attempt to enter your camper no matter what the method. As long as there’s a way they can get in, they’ll do it.
Here are the most common entry points:
- Through open windows
- Cracks and crevices underneath the RV
- Air vents
- Damaged insulation
- HVAC systems
They’re just looking for warm areas to take shelter from the cold outdoors.
Sometimes they also get entry even if you keep your doors and windows shut. They’ll just fly in when they have the chance.
Other times, you actually bring them in yourself. They can hitchhike on your clothing, towels, and even your dog!
Where are ladybugs present? Where do they live?
They’re found all over the US.
When there’s a ton of them, there can be so many that they swarm your camper like a horror movie.
You can see them often in higher elevations of the Sierra Nevadas over to the Rocky Mountains and stopping at the Blue Ridge Mountains. They tend to hang out at higher elevations where mountains are present.
Ladybugs overwinter during the colder seasons. They use leaf litter, plant foliage, tree bark, and other grassy areas to protect themselves.
You shouldn’t be surprised if you see them overwinter in a less-frequented area in your RV. In fact, if they reproduce in your camper, you’ll see the newborn generation hatch right before your eyes!
Once ladybugs get into your RV, they’re very difficult to remove.
How can I prevent ladybugs from coming into my RV?
The easiest way is to seal up everything 100%. Although this isn’t practical. Could you imagine keeping your RV doors and windows shut 24/7 and just blasting the AC?
That’s probably your safest bet. Otherwise, you’ll want to minimize your window time and your door. Keep them shut. Seal up all the gaps and crevices around those parts. Repair any damaged vents. Caulk any cracks.
And also: Check yourself. Make sure you’re not burning any of them into your camper yourself.
Are ladybugs destructive?
Nope. Not at all.
Ladybugs don’t eat your furniture, clothing, plants, or even any of your pantry items. They really don’t care about that because they’re carnivores. They eat other bugs, such as aphids and ants.
So even though you see them crawling all over your RV, they don’t do any damage.
The REAL damage they can do is when you squish them, step on them, or otherwise crush them.
They leave an orangish trail of guts and this can stain furniture, harbor bacteria, or otherwise cause permanent damage to surfaces. This is why you have to be careful.
They’re basically small timebombs that’ll stain whatever surface you crush them on. You should always remove them carefully by hand or vacuum.
Are ladybugs harmful to humans? Are they poisonous?
No. Ladybugs aren’t harmful to humans. They don’t bite, sting, nor transmit any known diseases. They do have a few defense mechanisms.
One of which is their ability to release the yellow chemical, which can be toxic to smaller bugs and also releases a nasty odor.
The reason for this is to repel some critters from eating them. As far as we’re concerned, this chemical will stain your camper walls so you’ll want to clean it up ASAP.
How do I get ladybugs out my camper?
The easiest way is to vacuum them out. They’ll leave on their own around the springtime, but until then you’ll have to deal with them. I’d suggest first fixing up whatever the path is that they’re taking to get into your RV.
After that, you should vacuum them out or remove them by hand. Don’t crush them because this will leave their bug splitter all over your walls, furniture, and other surfaces.
Also, when ladybugs are stressed, they release a chemical that stains surfaces. This is actually their own blood, which is a yellow color.
When they’re stressed, they’ll release this over whatever surface they’re on. And This can be a pain to clean up all over your mobile home.
Lighter surfaces tend to stain easily, so you want to remove them as quickly as possible without making a fuss and disturbing them.
Get a shop vac and turn it on max power. Suck them up and clean up any surfaces right away where you see their stains.
Release the ladybugs outdoors.
Don’t let them sit in the vacuum because they’ll start to smell over time. The chemical they release smells. Bad.
Will ladybugs return into my camper?
They’re usually found inside campers and mobile homes during the colder season because they’re looking for a warm place to stay.
During the mating season, ladybugs release pheromones to help attract a mate and also other ladybugs to the area. This pheromone is used to signal a safe location to congregate.
If they release this scent into your camper, you’ll be swarmed with them. The scent sticks to the walls, cabinets, drawers, beds, couches, seats, and other surfaces in your mobile home.
To get rid of it, you’ll need to scrub every single surface of your RV. And you can’t smell it yourself, so you don’t know whether or not you actually got rid of the scent!
The pheromones attract more bugs
As long as this scent exists, they’ll likely come back.
But then again, that depends on where you’re currently at during the winter. If you have already traveled to another state where the weather is different, you may not even have to deal with them anymore.
The yellow chemical they release when stressed is a mixture of scents:
- It helps repel predators by using a foul odor
- It’s a pheromone to signal to other ladybugs
They do this when they’re afraid and feel threatened. It’s called “reflex bleeding” as they use their own blood and other residues to create this scent. If you hold a ladybug or disturb one, you’ll see this chemical.
The last step you can take is to simply seal up your RV. Repair all your cracks, crevices, and other gaps where they can come in.
Use caulk around damaged weatherstripping or just replace it.
Fix broken vents. Seal up doors and windows. Considering using the AC rather than the sunroof. Basically, lock up all entryways so they can’t get into your camper.
Ladybugs are attracted to light. If you keep the lights on during the night, ladybugs will be attracted to your camper and will find their way into your mobile home.
Turn off unnecessary light or use blackout blinds to prevent light from escaping.
How to keep ladybugs out of your camper
The easiest way would be to seal up all the crevices, cracks, gaps, and other entry points in your camper.
This will prevent them from getting into your RV in the first place. You’ll want to patch up cracks around windows and doors, repair vents and grates, and fix up any broken window screens.
Basically, you should be doing the RV maintenance you should already be doing. This will help stop more of them from coming into your camper.
There are other things you can do inside your camper as home remedies to repel ladybugs. Here are a few of them.
Use bay leaves
Bay leaves are a natural way to keep ladybugs out of your camper.
The scent from these leaves will help keep them out. You can just put the leaves into a bag and place the bag where you see ladybugs.
The scent will help keep them away from the area, so place them near doors and windows. You can also use cloves as a substitute.
Use diatomaceous earth
DE is a natural way that can kill ladybugs.
You can sprinkle it around window sills, doors, and other areas where you think ladybugs are coming in. If you need to leave the windows open at night, you can sprinkle DE on the outside of your RV to keep them away.
The roof where your moonroof opens can be lined with DE to repel the pests.
Be sure to use a mask and gloves. Also, use goggles. Diatomaceous earth is safe for pets and kids, but you should avoid contact when possible. Don’t breathe it either.
Vinegar will remove the scented trail that they leave behind. Just use plain white vinegar and empty it into a spray bottle. Then spray the vinegar across all your surfaces and walls.
This will help reduce the smell of ladybugs and also prevent future ones from being attracted to your camper. If you don’t remove it, the pheromone scent will attract other ladybugs to your RV.
Use dish soap
Dish soap can trap and kill ladybugs automatically. All you need is a mixture of dish soap and some tap water.
Mix them together (a few drops of dish soap per cup of water) and place the bowl where you see ladybugs. They’ll be attracted to the scent and fall into it then drown.
You can try placing the bowl near doors or windows. The dish soap will drown the ladybugs after they fall into it.
You can also spray the dish soap directly onto ladybugs. Just pour it into a spray bottle and spray away.
Use citronella candles
Citronella will repel ladybugs and other pests midges (no-see-ums) and bees. Many bugs can’t stand the scent of it. And ladybugs are no exception.
The scent in the citronella is strong enough to repel ladybugs. You can place these around your RV to help keep them out.
Use cedar chips
You can buy a bag of cedar chips and place them into bags or bowls in your camper. The scent from these wood chips will repel ladybugs and other pests like brown recluses, flyting termites, and carpenter ants.
They really don’t like the smell of cedar, so this will help drive them out. You’ll want to keep your windows open slightly so they have somewhere to escape.
New ones won’t come in because the scent will escape your RV and they hate the scent.
Mum plants have a scent that helps deter ladybugs from coming into your vehicle. If you plant these around the RV, not only will it smell nice, it’ll also help keep the ladybugs out.
Of course, these plants need light and water.
Thus, you can’t just leave them in your camper. You’ll have to care for them or give them sun either through the sunroof or outdoors.
Use citrus essential oils
You can buy citrus oil or other essential oils.
Add a few drops to a spray bottle and spritz it around your mobile home. This will help keep the ladybugs out of your RV.
Spray it near your camper doors, windows, and vents.
Some of the most popular citrus oils that work against ladybugs:
This is one of the fastest ways to get rid of ladybugs in your camper. Essential oils have been known to be one of the most effective home remedies to repel ladybugs. You can easily make it at home.
How do I get rid of ladybugs outside my camper?
Ladybugs outside your camper are difficult to get rid of because you’re constantly moving.
As mentioned before, you’ll want to repair, seal up, and caulk up any entryways where they can get in.
Other than that, there’s not much else you can do. You can also try using diatomaceous earth around the doors and windows when you’re not moving.
And maybe some essential oil sprays, bay leaves, and citronella around those areas also. These will help drive ladybugs out and keep them away from your camper.
Cedarwood will also help repel them if you place the chips throughout your camper.
Did you get rid of the ladybugs?
By now, you should have a good foundation to start with and all the details you need to repel them.
For those who already have ladybugs crawling around your RV, try some DIY methods to repel them. And once you do, use the method to keep them out of your RV!
If you have any other methods, please leave a comment and share. Or if you have any questions for me, leave them also. I don’t own an RV, but I’ve been in plenty and dealt with all sorts of pests during my travel days!
Thanks for reading!
Currently an active researcher in the pest control industry for the past 8 years- with a focus on using natural and organic methods to eliminate pest problems.
I share handy DIY pest techniques I come across here to help out others (and possibly save them from a mental breakdown).
Fight nature with nature.