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Talkback: Harlequin ladybirds

I found a 'reversed' lady bird on my back door step yesterday... black with two red spots (or maybe they were white, can't remember now)... where does this belong - native / abroad?


  • i have about 5 asia ladybirds in my house recently trying to hibernate,is this getting more common Birmingham.
  • About a month ago I saw my first Harlequin ladybird in my mixed garden border in Shrewsbury. My feelings were ambivalent - should Iexterminate it as a pest? But as I won't kill anything in the garden I checked the Net and found that it is so widespread in Britain now that there is no point in killing it. Daily my young grandaughter and I count the harlequins and compare colours from lemon yellow to black and all spots in between. We look at the larvae and have also noticed the tail lifting in the pupa. They are now hibernating in nooks and crannies around the house. Am I going to reap the whirlind by allowing this? I see so few of our native ladybirds in the garden that I have, so far welcomed them for their colour and appetite.
  • I am told there are lots on the walls of our district council offices. Ones in my house I have put outside before my cat tries to eat them, but feel mean!
  • The front of my house was covered and I mean covered with Harlequin ladybirds towards the end of October I live above Pangbourne in the Chilterns and the following week a house on the outskirts was similarly invaded
  • Update
    Thanks for all the comments. Now is the time that ladybirds start to hibernate and this is why people are finding them on their houses or coming indoors. It is this behaviour that has caused most upset to the Americans - they come into buildings in large numbers and the biggest fuss is from wine producers who find their vats polluted with them. Ladybirds are warningly coloured because they contain bitter poisons to deter predators. These bitter chemicals taint the wine. They will not do any harm indoors, but an easy solution is to release them into an unheated greenhouse, shed or out-building where they will settle down properly and not be disturbed by central heating.
  • I found them to be extremely effective biocontrol agents in my greenhouse this year. I collected around 20 from the garden and placed them on the aphid infested pepper plants and within a week or two... no more aphids!
  • My house has been invaded with these harlequin ladybirds, literally about 1,000 I reckon. I contacted the local wildlife organisation who informed me that they are not welcome and to exterminate them asap. They informed me that native, British ladybirds hibernate outdoors but these are not welcome. However, trying to kill them has proved interesting and involved a manual process of popping them one-by-one! Even then, some have survived and tried to crawl out of the bag. Not a nice job, but then again it was not nice having them stain the curtains and one even deposited its "venom" on my wedding dress, causing chaos, and making me 25 minutes late for church whilst we attempted to cover over the resulting blood-like stain!!

    I donot like to kill animals etc, but these are not really very pleasant.
  • You need to kill these harlequins.
    The advice not to kill them is ridiculous.

    One ladybird can create thousands of young.

    The harlequins try to hibernate in houses and will bite people if they do not have enough food. The bites are very itchy and some people are allergic to them and will find them extremely uncomfortable.

    The yellow poison they spew out smells bad, and stains furniture.

    The info is out there, people. Go and read it.

    I know someones kitchen has been invaded. She won't kill them. Its now November and she is swearing the itchy rash she has all over her legs arms and neck is mosquitoes..

    Don't forget, like any other insects in the house, these will crawl over unhygenic surfaces and then over your food and prep surfaces...

    They are attracted to any sugary substance, which is why they spoil the wine... they spoil fruit also..

    Probably the best way to kill them without chemicals and without them ruining the house when you pop them is to suck them up in a handheld vacuum and flush them down the loo.
  • I found one - orange with lots of black spots - in my living room a couple of hours ago.( What with that and the rats under the floor, I'm not happy.) re. no.4 comment, I'm 30 miles south of Shrewsbury.
  • An hour ago, I found a group of about 20 harlequin ladybirds under a plant pot on my balcony. I thought that they were dead initially and swept them up with a dustpan and brush..noticed that they were moving so deposited them near some shrubs in the outside communal area where I live. Am a bit worried after having read the above comments, I live on a housing estate in Brixton, South West London.
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