London (change)
Today 13°C / 11°C
Tomorrow 15°C / 14°C
19 messages
24/02/2014 at 12:06

Hi there.

I am completely new to gardening and moved into our new/old house in Oct. We noticed the odd ladybird but nothing worth writing about.

In the last two weeks there has been a significant increase in the amount of ladybird activity in out house. I've researched them online and found out they are the Harlequin ladybird which are invading our homes and our own native ladybird. Me and my 2 year old have woken in the morning with the odd bite mark and I have a new baby due in 4 weeks. In the last two weeks, I have tried to seal as many crevices in my bedroom as possible but I'm not sure if they are coming or trying to leave as the weather is getting warmer! 

The garden needs an overhaul as it was neglected. It has many plants including a few rose bushes and a couple of apple trees, situated near the house. If I were to get rid of these, would I decrease the aphids and then the ladybird population as I hear aphids are what they feed on?

Please, any help would be welcome!

Mary

24/02/2014 at 12:58

Hi Mary

1. don't panic, they're not dangerous even if they bite

2. lets see a photo to be sure

3 on a warm day open the windows and let them out

4 aphids are part of nature, getting rid of a plant won't change that

24/02/2014 at 13:18

Mary. From what I've just been reading they like to hibernate in the house so by sealing up the cracks you're most likely preventing them from escaping. Could you leave windows open when we have warmer days to encourage them to get out promptly? Once Spring hits proper and they're all outside one would imagine you wouldn't find them a problem any more.

I hope baby no. 2 arrives safely x

24/02/2014 at 17:34
We get loads in the house too - they like to overwinter in the cracks between the windows and their frames. I content myself with the fact they will be aphid munching soon - and at least they don't make cobwebs !!
24/02/2014 at 18:39
24/02/2014 at 18:48
Thanks so much for responding and so quickly!

Our windows have been painted shut by the previous owner (I'm guessing now because of the ladybirds) so we can't open them. We are having them replaced in the next 8 weeks though. If you think they're trying to get out I'll try to jar them till the windows are replaced, I just don't like the thought of them flying around and possibly biting my newborn. We've got rid of at least 200 in the past 2 weeks!

Thanks again for all your input!

Mary
25/02/2014 at 00:39

Are you absolutely, absolutely sure they are Harlequins and not just normal ladybirds?

Please can you post a photo on here.  You may be killing 'good' guys.

I don't think ladybirds bite.  Could they be fleas biting?  Left over from the last owner of the house?

25/02/2014 at 16:40
I'm 100% sure they are Harlequins and not our native ladybirds. I have done a lot of research these last few weeks checking ladybird descriptions and looking ar pictures but what I couldn't find out was how to get rid of them and prevent them coming back.
I don't know how to upload photos as I'm a novice on this site but be rest assured that I can identify a Harlequin and yes, they can bite!
25/02/2014 at 16:45

Even our natives bite if cornered Welshonion. A sharp little nip 

25/02/2014 at 16:58

If you're really anxious - and I know from experience that pregnancy and responsibility for babies can make one really anxious - why not get an insect net for baby's crib etc, while little one is so little.  They're jolly useful - we lived in the country when my little ones were small and it kept flies and mosquitoes away and also made sure that the family cat couldn't get into the crib or pram. 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/38282.jpg?width=448&height=350&mode=max

 available from Amazon and of course, may other places.

Good luck with baby - and with 2 year old too - good age gap 

25/02/2014 at 17:10

That's a good idea Dove. We have mega mozzies here and have a net. It works

25/02/2014 at 20:16
Brilliant idea. I'm off to Mothercare tomorrow to buy a net.

Thanks everyone!
26/02/2014 at 00:38

Nut, the idea of 'cornering' a ladybird gave me a good smile.  Thank you!

26/02/2014 at 08:36

Edd
26/02/2014 at 08:37

Mary can record your sightings here but i think they have already taken over most parts of England.

http://www.harlequin-survey.org/recording.htm

26/02/2014 at 11:40

hope you solve the prob Mary,  and dont forget old windows make new coldframes 

28/02/2014 at 11:57

Welshoinion, the cornering of a ladybird made me smile too! 

Thanks Ed. I had seen it online and will fill it in.

Alan, I'm not too sure what you mean?!

 

28/02/2014 at 12:26

Think Alan was suggesting you might find the time to make something like this!

http://www.instructables.com/id/Build-a-Cold-Frame-Using-Old-Windows/ 

with a toddler and a new baby!  As if???!!!! But you might have a handy Grandfather around or something similar ...........

28/02/2014 at 15:20

Haha, Alan, in 5 years time when I get the rest of the things done that need doing in this old house! 

Thanks for the link, Dove! They do look great and are a fab idea. 

email image
19 messages