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By Andip

Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom Gb

I appear to have some ladybirds living in one of our rooms. There are a few clusters of ten to twenty in some of the corners where the corner walls meet the ceiling.

Think they might be harlequins or some other non native.

My wife is not a gardener so not keen on bugs. Does anyone know if it's safe to transplant them outside or if the cooler weather will kill them?




They are gathering together and keeping warm for the winter. They are harmless. Have you got a shed or garage you can put them in or could they stay in the room until Spring? Please don't kill them.

1 Oct, 2015


Thanks Cammomile.

I'd never kill them; I try to maintain a wildlife garden. Long grass, twig bundles, bee hotels etc (Even slugs are tolerated to some degree).

Perhaps I'll bundle them in an old pot with straw or the coldframe might work.

1 Oct, 2015


They're getting ready to hibernate - the link below might be of interest, tells you the best thing to do with them if they're in the house

1 Oct, 2015


Chances are that your overwintering guests will eventually dry up and die from a heated home and lack of humidity. The other thing is that they will not find their way out of you house come spring and that will kill off the rest of your boarders. Get a soft paint brush and a large paper cup sweep them down into the cup and shake the cup empty outside. Don't worry the temperature is still adequate to provide them with the metabolism to move around to find other more suitable shelter which would give them a better chance to survive the winter.

1 Oct, 2015


Loosestrife - what do you mean by 'kill off the rest of your boarders'?

1 Oct, 2015


Not being able to find their way out of the home will keep them away from their natural food and water sources and that will kill them. How many times have I found dead ones on my windowsills for that reason. I meant the words guests and boarders to be synonymous with the ladybird beetle. I might add just as a matter of interest perhaps that in the USA this insect is more frequently called a Ladybug. Oh, perhaps I should have used the word "expire" or "die" or "death" since the word " kill" connotes an intentional act such as saying" I am going to kill my lawn by not watering it". I admit a poor choice of words on my part.

1 Oct, 2015


Thanks everyone. As always some useful advice.

1 Oct, 2015


Oh I see - it wasn't anything to do with kill or die, it was just I couldn't work out what 'that' was - I see you meant being inside will kill them all off. Actually, I have had some overwinter in my sitting room before, in the corner above the external doorway, and some did make their escape through the doorway when I opened it on a sunny day in early spring - but others had died already. Apparently, it's all down to how much they've eaten before they go into hibernation as to whether they survive or not - and yes, I know they're called ladybugs over there, wasn't sure you knew WE call them ladybirds;-))

1 Oct, 2015


Wonder why we do Bamboo ?

1 Oct, 2015


No idea, Pamg - but then I'm still wondering why we use the term 'compost' - it has so many meanings, it can be very confusing...

1 Oct, 2015


Bamboo, I first learned that they were called ladybirds in the UK a few years ago on this very website. As we very well know, this is why GOY members frown upon using common names for plants and in many cases animals, to avoid confusion. Though, as in this case, there are pleasant and fun exceptions.

1 Oct, 2015


Please check whether they are harlequins through the Harlequin Ladybird Survey

I would gather them up as explained above and if they are confirmed as Harlequins then get rid of them (ie kill them) as they are a non-native invasive species and we don't need them in the UK.

1 Oct, 2015


Thats cruel Urbi.

3 Oct, 2015


If they are harlequins then they don't belong here Diane. we know that they are invasive and they are a threat to native species. Would you prefer to wait until the native species are on the brink of extinction?

4 Oct, 2015


It's a battle that will most likely fail Urbanite. Starting in the early twentieth century with great advancements in travel and transport, balkanization (not using the term in the geopolitical definition) of life in this world no longer exists. The diversity of life is now being rapidly homogenized across the planet. The end result will be a monumental, gigantic "shake up" between what once were well established indigenous species of plant and animal life and the recently arrived newcomers. It may be that the newcomer may be more successfull in its newly arrived bio-niche.That is disturbing to us because that is not what we are use to seeing within our life span. To try to control or prevent this from happening is as just a hopeless a task as trying to control the climate or save the world. One can step on and crush the new comer or usurper to get an individual sense of accomplishment in the prevention of this phenomena but their numbers have become legion by the time they are noticed by us.

4 Oct, 2015


A thoughtful response, Loosestrife - my comment would simply be - its the nature of nature, it's all about survival of the fittest. Unfortunate, cruel, but a fact. If the Harlequins are bigger and stronger, they will take over, just the same way the grey squirrel did here, and the way humans did over absolutely everything else (well, apart from viruses and some bacteria..) Harlequins make it here on their own in the south and parts of the east, from Europe, anyway, apart from being brought in on imported plants and the like. And they're a form of life, so deserve some respect, migrant or not, and whether we like it or not.

4 Oct, 2015


Amazing amount of debate generated here by my initial enquiry and good to see such thought and consideration into the responses.

They are definitely harlequins and have now been moved to my coldframe in a pot stuffed with old leaves, twigs etc. This may not be everyone's choice, but suits the philosophy I apply to my garden.

I'll record them on the survey that Urbanite provided the link for.

5 Oct, 2015

How do I say thanks?

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