Gardening Q&A:how can we prevent ladybirds coming inside the house?

The experts at the RHS answer your gardening questions...

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Question: Help! I live in a Victorian house which has windows with wooden frames. For some weeks now we have had invasions of ladybirds clinging onto the wood, inside the house.

I am a keen gardener and welcome them in my garden, but not in my home! I don’t want to harm them.

Do you have any ideas on how we can prevent them from coming indoors, or else what to do with them once they’re in? They are literally colonising the frames.

Answer: Ladybirds are frequent uninvited guests in houses in winter. Less alarming than house spiders, they are nevertheless uninvited! They are not harmful, although they can excrete a clear yellow liquid which can stain furnishings.

Apart from sealing up all ventilation points, there is little to prevent ladybirds from coming in from outdoors. Once in, all you can do is collect them up, either by sweeping them up with a paintbrush, or vacuuming them up, and putting them somewhere sheltered outside.

An undisturbed woodpile would be ideal, or make your own ladybird hotel from hollow canes, bunches of twigs, or buy one online or in a garden centre.

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