Ladybirds with sexually transmitted diseases are invading Britain

Greg Evans
Thursday 26 October 2017 10:00
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Picture:(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A swarm of ladybirds are invading Britain this autumn and they are carrying STDs.

Harlequin ladybirds are traditionally found in eastern Asia and North America but they enjoy the weather in the UK at this time of year.

These ladybirds aren't the red and black ladybirds that we commonly see on these shores.

They are typically darker and sometimes have an orange or yellow appearance.

Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Their infection is a type of fungus known as laboulbeniales, which can be transferred through sexual intercourse between the insects.

They can also contract it by huddling too closely together.

The symptoms of this disease include long, yellow growths appearing on the body of the insect. The effect shortens their lives reduce the number of eggs a female can produce.

This STD cannot be passed on to humans but it could spell bad news for Britain's native ladybird population.

The disease can be passed between ladybird species and to make matters worse, harlequin ladybirds are cannibals.

According to the Mirror scientists have branded the bug as one of "Britain's most invasive species".

The situation is actually so bad that since their arrival in 2004 there has been a reported 30 per cent decline in British ladybird numbers.

Many people have already been posting pics of ladybirds invading their homes on Twitter - although these could be of either species.

As any gardener will tell you, ladybirds are fantastic little creatures as they consume aphids (greenfly) and other scale insects. So if your house does turn into a ladybird hotel, just gently usher them outside.

HT Lad Bible

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