christinet993's picture

Ladybirds in my house!

About 80 (no I'm not kidding) ladybirds have taken up residence in my house - clustered behind the curtains in the dining room.

I don't want to evict them, but can anyone tell me why they have come in, and what they are doing??

Have they come in to die, reproduce,....
I would like to clean the dining room, but don't want to wipe out the local ladybird population. Can I move them on safely??

Help please :-)

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Peter Pearson's picture

Ladybirds in the house

A description of the ladybirds would be useful but I would suggest that they may be harlequins.
This ladybird has a habit of hibernating in dwellings and can become an awful nuisance, leaving a bad odour and staining materials such as soft furnishings.
Suggest you carry out a search on this site where there are many reference and pics of harlequins

claude_crabbe's picture

Ladybirds in the house

I would agree with Malyon that from the swarming behaviour these are likely to be Harlequin Ladybird. They tend to be very variable in size, shape and colour, but can usually be identified I believe by a pale brown ring around their underside (which you can find documented on this site).

You should consider yourself honoured that these creatures have chosen your home for their winter residence (if you don't mind the odour and the staining aspects). That being so a centrally heated house is not the best place for them as they will probably dessicate and not hibernate properly in the dry air of a modern house. I would therefore consider collecting them up in an open-topped cardboard box with some dry leaves and placing this in a sheltered dry place outside or in an outhouse/shed so they can safely snooze for the winter and leave under their own volition when they are ready.

Harlequins are in fact an invasive species from warmer climes and may not survive outside a British winter if it is a harsh one. However on the other hand if these turn out to be a native British species it is important that they are given every help and assistance especially under the threat they face from the Harlequin invaders. Any native species is more likely to survive anyway as they are naturally more suited to our climate.

I hope this helps with the dilemma of your uninvited house guests.