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Warm weather prompts ladybug invasion in parts of Ontario

Daksha Rangan
Digital Reporter

Saturday, November 7, 2015, 3:11 PM - The wave of warm weather that swept through southern Ontario this week left many feeling a perfect mid-autumn week of summer.

Unfortunately, southern Ontarians weren’t the only ones feeling the heat.

The warm spell wakened a surge of ladybugs from their normal autumn and winter sleep pattern, prompting an “invasion” into many Toronto homes and commercial buildings, searching for food and a winter sleeping spot, the CBC reports.

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Many took to social media to express their dislike for their new colourful co-inhabitants.

Queen’s Park saw a building-wide memo released to occupants, advising that windows remain shut during the overnight hours.

There has been speculation about whether the red and black insects appearing in homes across the GTA are even ladybugs at all.

Ontario Science Centre biologist David Sugarman tells the CBC that this is likely an accurate assumption.

”[T]he ones you’re mostly seeing now are Asian lady bugs,” Sugarman says. These bugs were brought to the U.S. years ago in an effort to eliminate aphids, a common “plant pest,” the CBC reports. They’ve since travelled north, becoming increasingly common in households.

But killing these critters isn’t the best way to get rid of them. Sugarman tells the CBC that letting them outside is a far better bet, since the Asian lady beetle diet is primarily made up of plant pests.

“[T]hey may just keep your rosebushes from being damaged,” he explains. “It’s not like you’re dealing with clothes-eating moths or mosquitos. They’re beneficial insects.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


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