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Explosion of ladybirds


Photo: Ladybird

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that were hundreds of ladybirds (ladybugs) in our garden. I was delighted, assuming that finally we had got something right and that these little bugs were happily breeding in our garden.

Years ago I did look into buying ladybirds for our garden. They were expensive at £14.95 for twenty five adults.
Apart from eating green and black fly, ladybirds also devour scale insects, mould and a whole host of nasties. No need for chemicals, the perfect answer to controlling pests organically.

I counted over a hundred on the old kitchen garden fences within minutes. Perhaps we could become ladybird farmers? They seemed to like me – I woke to find two on my pillow the other day.

Gardening Naturally claims that 100 ladybird larvae can keep pests at bay in a 40m/40m area. So we had spares, hundreds of them.

Then this news feed caught my eye. Ladybird explosion…

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  1. kate (uk)

    We don’t have a ladybird invasion here, but I do have a honey bee nest in the chimney stack, not sure what to do about it as it is a very tall chimney and it is right at the very top- 30ft or more- exhausted bees emerge from a small, completely un-accessable hole in the boiler cupboard in the kitchen, the foolish insects try to use it as an exit instead of the proper landing strip they have made at the top of the chimney stack.Much time spent ferrying bees out to the garden…we also have a proper quantity of butterflies for the first time in years. Excellent.

  2. magic cochin

    There are lots of ladybirds here too – but not in swarms as they were in Cromer.

    I’ve also seen the Harlequin ladybirds for the first time this year – I do hope the prediction that they will wipe out our lovely native Seven-spot, is unfounded.

    And Kate, Snap! we too have honey bees in one of our chimneys – it’s above the kitchen and has been blocked off (in fact the oven is build in to the chimney breast below). It’s good to have them there but I wish they were lower down so we could observe them coming and going.

    It’s a great year for insects :-)


  3. I’m in Hertfordshire and I haven’t seen any native ladybirds at all this year – just the Harlequins. They took over our garden three years ago and each September they swarm my South facing wall and come into the house to hibernate. After tolerating them for one winter, they now get gently hoovered and removed to the garage! Those little buggers can bite and when you try to move them they ‘yellow’ you. It smells!

  4. Insect explosion here in Cumbria too. Last week I was driving to the primary school I am going to be working at in September and couldn’t believe the number of cabbage white butterflies along one stretch of the country lane. I have never seen so many! Flying round the hedgerows on both sides of the lane and unfortunately across the road too meaning many of them hit my car. But then just down the road there were hardly any to be seen.

  5. Hello,
    I just found your blog while looking for a recipe for Apple and Blackberry jam. Your Aunts recipe worked well, I made some today. I will post your blog address when I blog about my day, hope you don’t mind!

  6. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Kate (uk)

    Your local police station can put you in touch with your local beekeepers association and they will come and remove them for free.

    Lots of butterflies here too.

    Hi Magic Cochin

    I haven’t seen the harlequin ladybird yet. But judging from Nicky’s comment from Herefordshire the harlequins have taken control up there.

    Hi Pamela

    Perhaps it was some kind of cabbage butterfly conference.

    Hi Lyn

    It’s great jam. Of course you can link!

  7. I live “across the pond” and also experience ladybugs in the house generally in the Fall when the weather turns cooler. During that time, I have to hoover them about once a day. If I don’t do it gently, the ladybugs release a stinky red substance which I’m always afraid will attract more ladybugs.

  8. kate (uk)

    My local Beekeepers were very helpful, but as the nest is about 40ft in the air they can’t do anything to remove the bees, if the bees become a problem they could kill them, but that would be a) awful b) awfully expensive as it would require scaffolding…I’m all for leaving the bees to get on with it.
    By the way- if you think squashed Ladybird smells bad, try squashed Green Shield Bug. Grim!

  9. Jane Weston

    This is a real ah-ha moment. We went to Norfolk for our holidays and were so surprised at the number of ladybirds…the news article you linked to is exactly what we experienced. Once we came home to the midlands we notice many more in the garden which we hadn’t seen earlier this year.

  10. We have a lot here, but not this many! Like you I thought it was a sign of a healthy garden….and I definitely don’t seem to have an aphid problem this year, so I can’t complain!

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