Brits on social media have reported seeing their houses 'under attack’ as the nation experiences a huge ladybird boom.
Sensational pictures have been shared on Twitter and Facebook of massive groups of the spotted bugs crawling all over people’s doors, cars, windows — and even the inside of their homes.
The ladybirds appear to be mostly from the invasive ‘harlequin’ kind which has thrived in the last twenty years and has been increasingly out-competing the native 7-spotted ladybird.
This species often likes to descend on houses sometime in the early autumn, and experts have reassured the public that the ‘swarming’ is perfectly normal behaviour for the bugs.
However, some have been commenting how late the phenomenon has come this year, and the unusually large number of the pearly critters around this year.
Tamas Papp, lead keeper of lower vertebrates and invertebrates at Chester Zoo, said the ladybird invasion was happening now because the country was 'running about a month behind with our seasons' this year.
He told the Manchester Evening News: "People may have noticed more ladybirds around this time of year than usual, and there are a few reasons for that.
"Usually, around this time of year, we'd see ladybirds go into hibernation, but because of the warm weather we've seen recently, they've been much more active than usual.
"We're running about a month behind with our seasons this year after a very long and cold spring, so with the warm weather comes much more activity.”
He added that many creatures we would expect by now to be hibernating are still flying around and looking for food.
The bugs will be aiming for small cracks around windows and doors to hibernate in, or any other warm spot to hideaway over the cold months of winter.
There are also said to be currently more bugs for them to eat due to mating patterns.
"For this time of year, there does seem to be more ladybirds than usual, as there are high numbers of the bugs that they eat as these bugs mate during the summer, so the numbers are high at the end of the season."
After visiting houses, the ladybirds will go into hibernation points in hollow trees, and emerge again next spring.
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