Special Report: Polka-dotted problem
They're little, kind of likable and supposed to be lucky, but now, some doctors say beware of the ladybug! They could be one of the reasons behind your allergies.
"Itchy eyes, nose, nasal congestion, scratchy throat, coughing and in more severe cases wheezing and shortness of breath," Dr. John Ohman said.
Asian ladybugs, which are common in New England, could be one of the causes of all that coughing and congestion, but you would never know it!
"A person with one kind of allergy frequently has other kinds of allergies, and it becomes unclear what is the major trigger," Dr. Ohman said.
It may sound surprising, but new medical research shows there's a significant rise in allergic reactions to ladybugs.
In a three-year study of 1,400 people, more than 20 percent tested positive for ladybug sensitivity!
To put it in perspective, that's right up there with well-known allergies to things like cats and dust mites.
"Itís such a tiny little creature, I would never think when you pick them up that you'd be allergic to it," Rosanne Fay, allergy patient, said.
And it's only going to get worse as the weather gets colder!
Late fall and winter are particularly bad months, because ladybugs head right into homes, looking for a cozy spot to keep warm.
"They go into warm areas," Dr. Ohman said. "Large quantities of them can get into the house and cause trouble."
The best way to keep the little critters out: seal up cracks and holes.
If they get in, one easy remedy is to simply vacuum them up.
This way you can get the luck of the ladybug without the unlucky allergies!
Lauren Prysbyl, 7News.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)