Did you know that the collective term for ladybirds is ‘a loveliness of ladybirds’? Certain households in Britain would not agree with the loveliness of ladybirds at the moment however, as huge numbers of the bug invade homes all over London and the rest of the UK.
Ladybirds: Natives vs Visitors
It seems that our native ladybirds have been joined by visitors from Asia and North America and together they are swarming across the UK in their millions. Looking for somewhere warm to hibernate for the winter, they are entering homes and finding places to congregate in large numbers.
However, these visitors look as though they are here to stay, and they are not welcome. The harlequin ladybird has been in the UK since 2004 but this year millions have come across from Asia and North American on autumn winds.
The Harlequin Ladybird: An Unwelcome Visitor
So why are they so unwelcome? The harlequin ladybirds, which are generally black with red spots, are a threat to our native species of ladybirds, such as the seven-spotted ladybird. According to certain reports, the harlequin ladybirds have flown over the UK carrying a nasty sexually transmitted disease called Laboulbeniales, which is a fungal disease that can be transferred to native species through mating. If contracted, it can lower lifespan and the numbers of eggs a female ladybird can produce and therefore lower the overall numbers of native ladybirds. However, this needs further research and other experts are saying there is no evidence for this. One fact that has been proven though is that they eat their red-winged counterparts such as the native two-spotted species, whose population has declined by 30% since the arrival of the harlequins 12 years ago.
On top of this, the harlequin ladybird is known for biting humans when there is no other food around, which leads to stinging red bumps and, in rare cases, allergic reactions. Hence, while people are not welcoming them into their homes.
To add insult to injury, harlequin ladybirds can ruin wine even before it is in the bottle. Partial to munching on grapes, they are often found in large numbers in vineyards, However, as well as eating the grapes, they secrete an offensive yellow substance that then gives the wine an unpleasant taste.
Tips to Prevent Ladybird Loveliness Entering your London Home
In light of this invasion, Top Dog Pest Control is issuing tips on how to prevent a loveliness of ladybirds entering your London home.
- Where possible, keep windows and does shut.
- Block up any holes or cracks in the exterior of your London home that could be used by the ladybirds to enter.
- Cut back and plants or bushes that are close to your house that may attract ladybirds.
- Keep a close eye out for small numbers of ladybirds in your London property, as this could be a sign that more will follow.
Author: This article was written by Dean Mannion, Senior Pest Control Technician for Top Dog Pest Control. Top Dog London Pest Control provides London pest control services.