I'm a bug expert – here's why you are seeing so many ladybirds in your house in October | The Sun
A BUG expert has revealed the reason why you are seeing so many ladybirds in your home in October.
Pest expert Joseph Robinson explained the cause behind the current invasion of the little critters – and revealed how to prevent them from entering your house.
The month of October marks the start of hibernation season for ladybirds.
As temperatures drop in the UK, they enter homes in search of warmth and shelter for the winter season.
CEO of Simply The Pest London Joseph Robinson explained: "This behaviour, known as overwintering, is quite common.
"The ladybirds are looking for a safe place to hibernate until the weather becomes more favourable for them to return outdoors in the spring.
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"If you're seeing many ladybirds in your home, it's likely because they've found their way inside seeking refuge from the cold."
The insects are attracted to warm and sunny areas, and during the summer, they seek shelter from the heat in cooler areas, such as homes.
"If it's a warm autumn day, you may see tons of ladybirds on the sunniest side of your house.
"As the nights cool, the bugs gravitate to warm places during the day," he added.
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Ladybirds hunt aphids, mites, and scale, which are considered pests for gardens.
When threatened, they secrete a fluid from the joints of their legs which wards off predators.
Although the critters are not dangerous to humans, the expert said people should be cautious as they can be poisonous if ingested.
They can also cause an allergic reaction in the form of a welt or a rash if in contact with sensitive skin.
Joseph said: "They are not poisonous – they don't draw blood or carry any type of disease, either.
"The only time ladybirds are poisonous is if you eat them. However, if you're allergic to them, a skin welt may form."
To safely get rid of them, Joseph recommends to gently scoop them up using a piece of paper or a glass and release them outdoors.
Some natural repellents like citrus-scented cleaners or cedarwood can also be used.
"They also dislike the smell of cloves, bay leaves or chrysanthemums.
"Generally speaking, these strong smells overstimulate and confuse a ladybug's senses," he added.
People can also use a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner to gather the insects without harming them.
He said: "The best approach is to prevent ladybirds from entering your home in the first place.
"Seal any cracks or gaps in doors, windows, and walls to block their entry points."
It comes as a woman forced out when a swarm of ladybirds laid siege to her house.
Margaret Yescombe, from Ickleton in Cambridgeshire, was left in shock when she found''thousands'' of ladybirds had forced their way in.
The swarm was so large and the insects so bold that she was forced to flee her home until they left.
Margaret, 42, said: "I was pretty annoyed because I had to get my cat inside and they swarmed on me.
"There were thousands, maybe even tens of thousands.
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"They're so creepy. You don't feel when they land on you so you only notice they're there when you feel them crawling on you."
She left around 3 pm in the afternoon and returned at 5 pm. Thankfully the insects had left by the time she returned.
How to stop ladybirds entering your home:
Expert Joseph Robinson said you can take several measures to prevent ladybirds from entering your home:
Seal Entry Points: Inspect your home for gaps, cracks, and openings around doors, windows, vents, and utility openings. Seal these entry points with caulk, weather stripping, or other appropriate materials.
Install Screens: Use fine-mesh insect screens on doors and windows. This will help keep ladybirds, as well as other insects, out while allowing fresh air to circulate.
Keep Doors Closed: Be mindful of keeping doors closed, especially during the fall when ladybirds are more likely to seek shelter.
Check for Gaps in Screens: Regularly inspect screens for tears or holes and repair or replace them as needed.
Reduce Exterior Lighting: Ladybirds are attracted to light. Reduce exterior lighting at night, especially near doors and windows, to minimize their attraction to your home.
Limit Moisture: Ladybirds are drawn to moisture, so fix any leaking pipes or faucets and ensure proper drainage around your home.
Cleanliness: Keep your home clean and free of crumbs, as ladybirds might be attracted to food sources.
Seal Cracks in Walls: Inspect the exterior of your home for cracks or gaps in the walls, and seal them to prevent ladybirds from finding their way in.
Garden Maintenance: If you have a garden, consider managing it in a way that reduces aphids and other pests, which are ladybirds' natural prey. This can reduce their attraction to your property.
Professional Help: If you have a persistent ladybird infestation problem, consider consulting with a pest control professional who can provide targeted solutions.
By taking these preventive measures, you can reduce the chances of ladybirds entering your home and seeking shelter indoors.
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