Ladybirds in the house

by admin on November 7, 2011

The harmless and useful English ladybird is a well liked British beetle.   But in recent years a new and unwelcome relative has arrived in many UK homes.  This visitor is the Harlequin Ladybird.

Harlequin LadybirdThe markings on the Harlequin Ladybird vary widely. It is larger than most of our own native  ladybirds whilst still typically ‘ladybird’ in general appearance . 

 However, the Harlequin ladybird has some rather different habits from our own garden beetle.

Householders in the South East are starting to get encounter  these ladybirds entering their homes through gaps around window frames and settling in sometimes large numbers, often behind the curtains.

When disturbed, the Harlequin ladybird emits a vile smelling yellow chemical that can stain wallpaper and furnishings.  The smell also attracts more ladybirds to the site. 

When disturbed Harlequin Ladybirds may bite,  resulting in a stinging sensation and some swelling.  Allergic reactions to the bite have been reported.

As you can see this is altogether a different creature from our traditional ‘gardener’s friend’  and biologists everywhere are concerned about the spread of this highly successful insect.  

If ladybirds have invaded your home in large numbers it is likely that these are the Harlequin variety.  Contact us on 01428 714031.   We will be able to confirm identity of your visitors and to offer you advice and treatment.