Swarms Of STD-Riddled Ladybirds Are Invading The UK
There are not many insects that people generally allow to explore their bodies. If there's an earwig on your ear, it's getting the flick. If there are ants in your pants, you're doing the 'get out of my pants ants' dance.
However, a cute little ladybird is the exception to the rule for most, what with their adorable little faces and pretty little dots.
But there is a new type of ladybird arriving en masse in Britain, bringing with them STDs - so be careful who you let sit on your shoulder.
The Harlequin ladybirds have flown in from North America and Asia, taking advantage of mild autumn winds to pursue hibernation spots here, with the Manchester Evening News reporting that dozens of the creatures have been spotted in homes across Greater Manchester.
The species are usually bigger than those which we are commonly accustomed to, such as the two-spot ladybird, and could pose a threat to native species because of the STD they carry, called Laboulbeniales fungal disease.
It is unclear how harmful the STD could be, but the UK Ladybird Survey believe it could affect lifespan, or even the number of eggs a female ladybird can produce, which is concerning considering that native species are already threatened by habitat loss.
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If you are finding ladybirds in your house, it is likely they are Harlequins, as native species tend to hibernate in trees.
The creatures are generally not harmful to people, although they may bite if food is not available, which could result in a small bump or sting. In extreme cases, people can have severe allergic reactions.
If the little critters have invaded your home, it is probably best to leave them be, as they sometimes secrete a yellow substance when disturbed, which could stain your furnishings... These guys just get cuter and cuter.
Dr Peter Brown, a ladybird survey organiser who is also a senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, told the BBC the Harlequins' autumn swarming of houses had earned the species the nickname of the 'Halloween Ladybug' in the US.
Featured Image Credit: PA