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Rain, warm weather cause millions of ladybirds to descend on Romanian town

Photo credit: Gilles San Martin/Flickr

Photo credit: Gilles San Martin/Flickr

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 08:30 GMT - A combination of rain and warm weather has caused a boom in Romania's ladybird population, with millions swarming the town of Lipova.

The insects seemingly came out of nowhere, invading the community overnight.

Residents had to border up their homes to stop the swarms of ladybirds from getting inside. City Hall has tried to contain the insects with pesticides, but they just keep coming.

"I swept up tens of thousands of them with a broom and shovel and took them outside but more and more arrive all the time," one resident told reporters.

"I had my window open for a few minutes and when I closed it they were like a living carpet," said another.

Experts say the rise in ladybirds is due to a rise in the greenflies they like to dine on, prompted by heavy rainfall. That – combined with unseasonably warm weather – has led to a ladybird boom.

Residents are hoping a frigid winter will put an end to the problem.

Experts say that a mild winter could make the ladybird population jump even higher next year

In the UK, the sudden cold weather after a very mild and humid start to autumn has seen ladybirds seeking sanctuary in homes from the cold. 

In the Isle of Man people have been asked to help eradicate an influx of a bigger foreign species - harlequin ladybirds – which poses a threat to native ladybirds.  

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