The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Residents Bugged by Insect Infestation

Suddenly, they heard a strange clicking noise. They looked at each other, puzzled.

At first they suspected the sound was coming from one of their computers. They checked, but discovered nothing.

They inspected their refrigerator.

Still nothing. Finally, they realized they weren't alone. They glanced toward the ceiling and saw their uninvited guests.


Teague resident Crystal Keller, a junior, has wrangled with the problem since her freshman year on South Campus, where she said the ladybugs were the worst.

Rebecca Casey, the assistant director of housing and residential education, said students all over campus are having to deal with the winged insects, and said that the amount of ladybugs this fall is really no greater than in previous years.

"The ladybugs arrive from all over the Southeast region of the country every year because they are trying to get in from the cold weather," Casey said.

But while many students say the bugs are a nuisance, experts deem ladybugs "beneficial insects" and recommend that pesticides not be used to eliminate the infiltration, she said.

Residence halls have been equipped with special vacuums, and residents are being urged to check them out and then release the bugs outside. "It is a pretty simple thing to solve," said Al Calarco, associate director of housing and residential education. "In the scope of things, I don't see this issue as being a real problem."

Sophomore Justin Perry, a Hinton James Residence Hall resident, said he does not kill the ladybugs and that he sees them as harmless. "It is irritating, but I do not see them hurting me - it is more of a nuisance than anything."

Casey said students have been advised to use a facilities maintenance request form if they are having ladybug problems, and maintenance workers will seal windows and cracks in the rooms of the residents. "Air conditioning units are a prime way for ladybugs to enter rooms, and all cracks or unsealed places should be sealed to alleviate the problem," Casey said.

But residents' problems with the creatures are not limited to the live ones. They also face the problem of the ladybugs dying and covering the floors of their living space.

Keller said that although the ladybugs are starting to die, she does not mind disposing of them properly. And she said the live bugs aren't bad entertainment. "They are good companions if you are lonely because you can sit and watch them."

The University Editor can be reached at

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel's 2023 Year in Review Issue