There are many types of ladybird in the UK with more than 40 different species having been identified including the non-native Harlequin ladybird. Within the UK, it was first reported in the London area but is now rapidly spreading north and west.
At present, it appears likely that the Harlequin ladybird will become widely established in the UK which could be detrimental to the native species as a result of feeding competition. Numbers of large ladybirds active on the outside of buildings, and sometimes entering buildings, may cause concern to residents.
The peak of this autumn activity is restricted to a few weeks only, but once inside wandering ladybirds may occur on mild days throughout the winter. When disturbed, the beatles produce a foul-smelling liquid, which may also stain fabrics, etc. They do no damage to the building itself. For properties that have regular problems with ladybirds entering the building, proofing of entry points will reduce future problems.
Ladybirds within buildings may be removed with a vacuum cleaner. Residual insecticides can be used to control ladybirds however be aware that where a non-native species may be hibernating, native species may be also.
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