A bizarre plague of ladybirds have swarmed through a small Romanian town after settling there seemingly overnight.
Stunned homeowners in Lipova, western Romania, have been forced to seal their homes to stop swarms of the red insects getting inside.
Having been attracted by a sudden rise in greenfly aphids, ‘tens of thousands’ of ladybirds have invaded dozens of homes - despite attempts to see them off with pesticide.
One bemused resident, Arina Deca, 50, said: 'No matter what you do they keep coming. I had my window open for a few minutes and when I closed it they were like a living carpet.'
She added: 'I swept up tens of thousands of them with a broom and shovel and took them outside but more and more arrive all the time.
'We're not scared of them because they're harmless but it is just very creepy.'
Local mayor Mircea Jichici, 57, said: 'We've had very warm weather, about 20 to 22 degrees which must have something to do with it. We've tried pesticides but we don't have enough to make an impact.'
Biologist Mihai Pascu, 44, says the swarm has been triggered by a sudden rise in the number of aphids, or greenfly, the favourite food of ladybirds.
He explained: 'The rains led to the increase of aphids and this in turn led to a sharp rise in the numbers of ladybirds. They are just feasting while it lasts.'
And he warned: 'If we will have a mild winter, their numbers could be even larger next year.'