Killer plague of ladybirds
A NEW breed of killer ladybird is threatening to wipe out insects across the UK, experts warned yesterday.
The Harlequin — which has killed off other ladybirds across the world — was first found here three years ago and is spreading rapidly.
Scientists fear the bugs will annihilate native species and cover mainland Britain within a year.
They are also known to bite HUMANS.
Cambridge University ladybird expert Dr Michael Majerus said: “The warm weather has woken them up. They’re all over the place now.”
The Harlequin was taken to the US from Asia 25 years ago to control aphids, but has destroyed populations of native ladybirds and butterflies.
Britain’s first was found in Essex in 2004 and the orange bugs — bigger than normal ladybirds — have spread as far north as Durham.
Dr Majerus said one person had suffered an allergic reaction to a bite but added this was “very rare”.