Swarms of an invasive species of ladybird are flocking into British gardens and even into our houses – and they’re carrying an STD.
The bugs – Harlequin ladybirds – are recognisable by their black wings, and carry a fungal infection transmitted by sex, scientists have warned (as so some native species of ladybird).
Experts from the UK Ladybird Survey have seen Harlequin ladybirds infected with the fungus in London and Oxford and are asking for the public to report sightings.
(Obviously, the Laboulbeniales fungal disease is only a problem for other ladybirds, not for human beings.)
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They’re larger than the regular two-spot ladybird we’re used to seeing in Britain.
— Aaron_from_uk (@AaronC_official) October 11, 2018
They hibernate in large numbers in buildings during the winter, so experts are advising you keep windows shut.
Steve McGrail, director of pest control company Pro Kill Environment, said in 2016, ‘They are a non-indigenous species. They are coming inside in large numbers.
‘They usually cluster around window frames and they cluster together to gather heat and hibernate in winter months.’