Why are ladybirds absolutely everywhere all of a sudden?
There's a veritable ladybird explosion out there!
If you've been outside in the past few days, you've probably been besieged by a bunch of ladybirds that seem to have come out of nowhere.
And if you're particularly unlucky, you may even have a few of the cheeky little critters knocking about inside your house.
But you are absolutely not alone; judging by the comments on social media, we are currently living through a ladybird-pocalypse.
It's actually getting around the time of year when ladybirds start to look for a place to hibernate, and the bugs will be looking around for warm and cosy places to bed down for the winter.
Invasion of the ladybirds 🙀🙀 pic.twitter.com/LUV3RVa2Nz
— Sox the waving cat (@Soxthewavingcat) October 7, 2021
But according to experts, there are several reasons why there is a sudden spike in numbers, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Apparently, the late summer warm weather has extended ladybirds season a little longer than usual, and so they are much more active at the moment than they would be in regular years.
Tamas Papp, lead keeper of lower vertebrates and invertebrates at Chester Zoo, told the MEN the UK is 'running about a month behind with our seasons' this year.
What do the ladybirds know that I don’t??? pic.twitter.com/zKpoBaVZyE
— The Bear (@bear_roar) October 9, 2021
He said: "For this time of year, there does seem to be more ladybirds than usual, as there are high numbers of the bugs that they eat as these bugs mate during the summer, so the numbers are high at the end of the season.
"We'd expect to see ladybirds head into hibernation when there is less daylight and the temperature drops to around five degrees at night, so around early October. Around this time, they'll head into hibernation points in hollow trees and emerge next spring.
"As one of the stronger and larger species, it is able to out-compete our native species for aphid-prey, and will also eat other ladybirds' eggs and larvae, he added. "This along with the fact they can have multiple broods throughout the spring, summer and autumn, gives it a competitive edge."
There seems to be masses of ladybirds around at the moment. They are everywhere pic.twitter.com/rIKIvW5rTM
— reggies mum 💙 #johnsonout (@kellsley) October 8, 2021
So there you have it folks, there's only one thing for it, head to the pub and wait for all this to blow over.