The other night, while scrolling through social media, I came across a video of someone releasing a jar full of 1,500 ladybugs into their home. My initial reaction was something along the lines of, “Oh my gosh, why would you do that?!” Growing up, hundreds of ladybugs moved into our house every winter, swarming the windows and forming little clusters in the corners of every room. In response, my family spent a lot of time trying to get them out of the house. To watch someone release them indoors on purpose? It just seemed wrong!
Digging a little further, I found a number of houseplant enthusiasts who swear by the practice, regularly setting hundreds—sometimes thousands—of ladybugs free in their homes in the name of… pest control. Obviously, I had a lot of questions: What, exactly, do they control? Do you really need that many of them? And, most importantly, does it actually work?! I reached out to a few bug and gardening experts for answers—here’s what they had to say.