Ladybird 'plague' has got UK homes 'under siege' this week

People across the UK have reported flocks of ladybirds invading homes and gardens and infesting them.

Reports on social media have shown properties across the country, from Lancashire to Lincolnshire, are being “besieged” by a “plague” of the signature insects.

Twitter user David Bellamy said: “Ladybug plague in Lincolnshire today – anyone else?”

And in Lancashire @JustJanety said, “Everyone else has a plague of # ladybug? Two days of uninterrupted ping, pinging while they swarm against the windows. Yesterday 50 removed from the inside. ”

And Cathie Clarke asked, “Does anyone else have a ladybug infestation?”

Chris Thomson said, “Yep. Ladybird Plague 2021. Calling it. Every time I look out the window, one flies by. (No, I don’t KNOW it’s not the same, but I politely ask you to prove that it is so. “.)”

Meanwhile, @Sally_Ann and Neil Yate said they were “besieged” by ladybirds.

And @stokes_laraine asked, “It’s very late for ladybugs. What’s going on?

The beautiful speckled bugs usually gather between September and October – and it seems this week is the peak time for 2021.

The ladybugs are looking for a home for the winter and look for small cracks around windows and doors – or any other warm and sheltered place – to hibernate.

Experts have suggested that there are several reasons for the sudden drop in numbers this week, the reports Manchester evening news.

Warmer weather, followed by a colder period in autumn – and an increase in the herbivorous insects that eat them – has made ladybugs much more active than usual.

Tamas Papp, an expert on lower vertebrates and invertebrates at Chester Zoo, said the country was “about a month behind with our seasons” this year.

“We usually see ladybugs hibernating at this time of year, but due to the warm weather we’ve seen lately, they have been much more active than usual.

“This year we are about a month behind our seasons after a very long and cold spring, so the warm weather is accompanied by a lot more activity.

He said that Manchester evening news : “Perhaps this time of year people have noticed more ladybugs than usual, and there are a few reasons for that.

“Some animals that would go into hibernation fly around looking for food.

“There seem to be more ladybugs than usual for this time of year as there are high numbers of beetles to eat during summer mating, so the numbers are high at the end of the season.

“We would expect ladybugs to go into hibernation when there is less daylight and the temperature drops to around five degrees at night, around the beginning of October.

“At this time they will hibernate in hollow trees and reappear next spring.

“In recent years, an alien species from Asia, the harlequin ladybird, has thrived in the UK and has quickly become one of the most common ladybugs in the country.

“As one of the stronger and larger species, it can displace our native species for aphid prey and also eats eggs and larvae of other ladybirds.

“This, together with the fact that she can have multiple broods in spring, summer, and fall, gives her a competitive advantage.”

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