Ladybird infestation: What to do if you get bitten by the STD carrying Harlequin ladybird

Harlequin ladybirds have been pictured up and down the country nestling on walls and inside people’s homes.

The bugs, which are reported to have arrived in Britain from Asia, carry a disease called laboulbeniales, which is a form of fungi.

While this can’t be passed on to humans, scientists say the fungus will infect our native species, which are already under threat from habitat loss.

Whether or not the fungus is harmful, is not yet known, but what humans are at risk of from the pests is a bite.

According to experts, if Harlequin ladybirds don’t have any food they are more likely to bite people.

This can leave a little bump and sting, and some people may go on to experience a severe allergic reaction to it, like with any insect bite.

All ladybirds can bite, but the Harlequin ladybird is more aggressive and tends to bite more often, according to the NHS.


It adds; “The harlequin ladybird can be red or orange with multiple spots. Look out for a white spot on its head – other ladybirds don’t have these patches.

“Ladybird bites can be painful, but aren’t usually anything to worry about.”

So what should you do if you’re bitten?

The health body offers general advice for being bitten or stung by insects.

First, you should wash the affected area with soap and water.

Next, apply a cold compress (such as a flannel or clothe cooled with cold water) or an ice pack to any swelling for at least 10 minutes.

Raise or elevate the affected area if possible, as this can help reduce swelling.

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Avoid scratching the area or bursting any blisters, to reduce the risk of infection.

Finally, avoid traditional home remedies, such as vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, as they’re unlikely to help.

Guidelines published by the Harlequin Ladybird Society have advised how to spot the pesky bugs.

Like many species of ladybird, the Harlequin ladybird has a bright red back and bold black or orange spots.

They are distinguishable from other ladybirds from their large size, with the Harlequin species measuring between 7-8mm in diameter.

They also have a variety of pale coloured wings, including yellow-orange, orange-red, red or black and can vary between the colours.

The number of spots on their back can range from none at all to 21.

Another common household pest which can cause irritable bites is the bed bug

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Daily Express :: Health Feed

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