The bugs are coming on the mild autumn winds from both Asia and North America, are affecting the Britain’s native population by passing on a dangerous STD.
Known as a Harlequin ladybirds, they are often called Halloween ladybirds because they fly to the UK during this time of the year. Although they can look dissimilar to one another, they tend to have black wings with two to four red or orange spots. Or, they can be orange with up to 21 black spots.
Researchers have noted that the Harlequin ladybirds are the most invasive species to hit Britain, preying on the other native ladybirds such as the common two-spot. The native ladybirds are already under threat from a loss of its habitat.
Although these ladybirds have been here since 2004, it’s not until just this year that they’ve become readily noticeable. The STD they are carrying is known as Laboulbeniales – a kind of fungi that passing onto their mating partners or when they are close together.
Scientists don’t know the origins of the disease, but that it leads to yellow finger-like growths on the affected bug. They also suspect that it can affect how many eggs the female ladybird produces in her lifespan.
The only really good news about these ladybirds is that the STD they carry cannot be transmitted to humans or animals. They do appear to have a nasty chemical smell they leave behind. They also leave nasty stains on anything they touch such as furniture, appliances, electronics, etc.
According to experts, the best way to get the Harlequin ladybirds out of the home is using a piece of card and glass.
Written by Mark Riegel, MD
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