Scientists are warning our ladybird population will be ‘blitzed’as a result of wet weather. Last summer’s record breaking rainfall decimated the number of aphids, greenflies, blackflies and whiteflies – which are the stable diet for ladybirds.
It’s the seven spot ladybird which is particularly at risk. The species had previously been under threat from an invasion of Harlequin ladybirds but numbers of the seven spot have recently leveled out. Now that recovery looks under threat.
– Dr Roy, Centrefor Ecology and Hydrology
"It has been a phenomenally low springfor seven-spots, which are a predatory species and rely on aphids. They need toeat 60 aphids a day."
The number of ladybirds in the London region has been in steady decline since the 90’s as a result of urbanisation. Last month Tim Webb, spokesman for the RSPB, said loss of habitat coupled with the use of pesticides is continuing to threaten London’s invertebrates and insects.
Now scientists want our help to monitor just how significant the decline in ladybird numbers is. You can report any sightings of seven-spot ladybirds here.
There is also a free mobile phone app to download called ‘iRecordLadybirds’.