MJB removes Cluster of Harlequin bugs from inside window frame
The team at MJ Backhouse has recently removed a cluster of Harlequin bugs from the inside of a window frame in Yorkshire.
Despite sounding unusual and not very common, this issue is becoming more ordinary as the years roll by. The Harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) is one of the most invasive insect species in the world. To put it into some context, it took the Grey squirrel around a century to spread throughout the UK – but it took the Harlequin ladybird less than a decade to do the same.
About the Harlequin Laydbird
The Harlequin was introduced from Asia to North America in the 1980s to control aphids that were feeding on crops. The ladybird then quickly spread across the United States to become the most common ladybird there. It arrived in Britain in 2004 although probably accidental blowing over in strong winds following its spread across Europe where it was introduced from North America, again for aphid control.
There are over 100 different colour patterns have been recorded which makes it difficult to identify, especially from the Seven-spot ladybird, which is also variable.
How they differ
Unlike many other types of ladybirds, the Harlequin doesn’t just eat one type of food. Once it has finished feeding on aphids in the crops it then turns its attention to other ladybird eggs and larvae and even the eggs and caterpillars of moths and butterflies.
Why are they so dangerous?
The main reason Harlequin ladybirds pose a threat to our native ladybirds is that they have such voracious appetites that they easily out-compete native ladybirds for food. It is almost certainly the reason why our Two-spot Ladybird is now so scarce. Although they are not dangerous to humans they do hibernate in large numbers in houses and other buildings. There are cases of tens of thousands of ladybirds being found in homes during the winter. In the spring the ladybirds become active again and look for a way out of the house.
If you happen to notice that you have a problem with any pests in your home or commercial property, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the MJ Backhouse team.
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The team at MJ Backhouse has recently removed a cluster of Harlequin bugs from the...