Sidmouth home's ladybird 'invasion' shocker

PUBLISHED: 13:20 16 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:40 18 June 2010

A MASSIVE swarm of ladybirds descended upon a Salcombe Regis home on Saturday- leaving a visitor stunned.

A MASSIVE swarm of ladybirds descended upon a Salcombe Regis home on Saturday- leaving a visitor stunned.

Jane Stevens had popped in to a neighbours' house to let their family pet out when she suddenly noticed the windows were crawling with thousands of the insects.

"It was like something out of a science fiction movie," said Jane who described the appearance of the swarm as "like an invasion". She added: "There wasn't a bit of window space where there wasn't one, I've never seen so many.

"They were eking through the windows and flying round. I went outside and the whole back of the house was absolutely crawling with them. It's a three-storey building and they were up to the eves.

"I was amazed, I never realised they could fly so high. I ran around making sure the windows were shut, and was scooping them up in their thousands."

Jane then realised she had left washing out to dry in her nearby garden and raced home, she said she had to shake hundreds more ladybirds out of the clothes.

Jane added: "All summer I hardly saw any, this is the oddest phenomenon I have ever seen. It was like they came off the sea.

"Some of them were horrible looking and black, with two orange spots."

While the massive swarm may sound like a phenomenon to the un-trained eye, bio diversity expert Duncan Sivell, who works for Buglife, the trust that speaks up for all of Britain's invertebrates, said it was a "typical" sight.

He said: "It is unlikely they came off the sea, this is natural behavior for this time of year. Ladybirds hibernate in mass congregations and often try and get inside sheds and houses. This is quite normal, often some people will see a great number and some won't see any.

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