February 8th, 2010

Rose Blight

Why I Hate Ladybirds

I’ve never read Eric Carle’s The Bad-tempered Ladybird but the menacing expression on the cover bug’s face looks all too realistic to me.

When the estate agent first suggested that I might look at a thatched cottage I said, ‘Ugh, thatch! Mice! Spiders! No!’ Then of course I fell in love with the place and luckily have not been troubled by mice, spiders or other wildlife. Ladybirds are quite another matter. There are dozens of them clustered around the window frames in my bedroom and as long as they stay there quietly hibernating and leave me alone I don’t mind. But. If the sun comes out they start marching all over the ceiling in a creepy manner. Instead of keeping themselves to themselves, they drop on me *when I’m reading in bed* which I find intolerable. Several times a day I'm frantically brushing my hair because I'm sitting quietly, as now, and *feel* something.

They are vicious. One evening I switched on the light and heard a strange whirring noise. A moth was fluttering near the bulb and ladybirds were whizzing round and round it as if they were on strings like one of those children’s toys. I hastily switched off the light as I found this very unnerving. Never saw the moth again. Ladybirds are supposed to be good bugs because they eat aphids. Underneath the bedroom window is a climbing rose; in spite of the ladybird infestation the rose was smothered in greenfly all last summer so they don't live up to their job description.

I’m soooo tempted to get out the hoover and crevice tool and just dispose of them but can’t bring myself to do it. Or I could try brushing them outdoors. Any ideas? I'm quite prepared for Fotherington-Thomas types to tell me how lucky I am to share my home with such wonderful creatures but I diskard them.