I’ve just found that my art studio (AKA the spare bedroom) is infested with ladybirds (ladybugs). Yes, and they’re Harlequin ladybirds.
As we probably all know by now, Harlequin ladybirds (Harmonia Axyridis) were first found in the UK in 2004; they are carnivorous and have decimated our native species. As well as eating aphids they eat other ladybird eggs, and the eggs and caterpillars of moths and butterflies.
And I absolutely detest ladybirds, all ladybirds whether Harlequin, 3 spot or 7 spot. (Apologies to Our Little Red House in the Country – although I truly admire the ladybirds you have made, I do not share your passion for ladybirds!)
I hate the way they fly, I hate their hard red shiny shells, I hate their long black lacy wings that they sometimes don’t fold back properly into those shells, I hate the fact that I have witnessed two plagues of them ten years apart when I went to the North Norfolk coast. Witnessed? I didn’t witness the plagues – I was embroiled in them! They were lying in shoals along the seafront, they were crawling on everything in the shops, and when you walked they flew in your eyes, in your mouth, and got lodged in your hair. I DETEST them.
Actually I hate all insects. I know they have their place in the ecosystem and that’s fine so long as they stay well away from me.
What About The Bees?
Yes, I am a massive advocate of bees – but I still don’t want them too close.
Anyway, I’ve just removed 21 of the ladybirds from the bedroom where they were crawling around the window frames, on the curtains, on the ceilings and embedding themselves in the carpet.
I tried saying:
Ladybird, ladybird fly away home
Your house is on fire and your children are gone
But to no avail. So, all you insect-loving people would be proud of me. I caught them all individually in a spider catcher and walked each one halfway up the garden and released it gently into the flower border.
And now, I’ve found this website UK Safari which says they will probably come back to the house if I haven’t taken them far enough away and they will have released pheromones to attract other ladybirds!
Slug It Out
I’ve also found that slugs have no respect for the art deco or moderne type home either. Last week it was unseasonably warm and sunny for February and I noticed a long shiny trail that wound up and down the wall above the fireplace. Eventually I traced it back to a small slug crawling along the edge of the carpet. Absolutely disgusting!
As someone was removing it from the room for me, I said to it, ‘Surely if you HAVE to come into a house, you’d prefer a redbrick Victorian cottage built in the 1800s?’ Possibly residents of Victorian cottages wouldn’t agree.
Whatever – it just ignored me.
It maybe raised a sardonic eyebrow as it crawled off on its way.