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The UK has witnessed a surge in the number of ladybirds loitering around our garden areas and in our homes. This has resulted in the record number of sightings we've seen over the summer and autumn months. A number of elements factored in to the increased number of ladybirds, we take a look at why this happened, and what it means.
There are a number of reasons that have factored into the increased number of ladybirds, which we've witnessed in the UK. Harlequin ladybirds are non-native, and migrate here throughout the year. During 2016 in particular, harlequin ladybird numbers were higher than usual. According to the BBC, the mild winter last year enabled a greater number of ladybirds to survive the hibernation period. The increased number coming out of hibernation, combined with the rise in non-native ladybirds have all factored into the increase we've seen this year.
Both native and non-native (Harlequin) ladybirds look very similar, although there are a number of signs to look for to help determine the difference. Harlequin ladybirds are normally a little larger in size, around 6mm to 8mm. Harlequins can be yellow, orange or black, but they have brown legs instead of the black legs that native ladybirds in the UK have. Harlequin ladybirds have a white triangular mark on their heads, which should easily differentiate from natives, as native ladybirds don't have any white markings at all.
The first step towards preventing further infestation of ladybirds is to ensure that all entry points are properly sealed. Start with the basics otherwise any other preventative measures will be wasted! Look out for cracks in window frames, gaps under doors and vents without mesh protectors. These are all great places to start, however it's worth noting that insects, especially ladybirds may already be hibernating in your home, therefore may make an appearance when the temperatures rise again. If you have noticed clusters of ladybirds inside your home or you've noticed the smelly yellow stains that ladybirds leave behind, get in touch with us using the form below. Our friendly team would be happy to provide a free quotation to deal with the infestation effectively.
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