This morning Tigger pointed to something on the bedroom wall. It looked like this (photo taken later):
She tried to catch it on a piece of paper but it was too lively and fluttered away.
Later, while I was getting ready to go out (more about that later), it reappeared, this time on the bed. I managed to photograph it twice before it fluttered away. Here is the second picture:
Pretty as they may be, Harlequins are a problem. They are not British, you see, but dastardly foreign ladybirds. They compete with the native species to the latters’ disadvantage. It’s the story of the grey squirrel overwhelming the red squirrel all over again.
I don’t know why we have been favoured by this visitation, about the third we have experienced. You would not think that darkest Islington was a good place for ladybirds of any kind, native or foreign, especially in this cold weather, but the evidence speaks for itself.
I did two things. The first was to catch the ladybird in a tissue and put it outside. Plenty of people will blame me for not stepping on it but you probably know by now my no-kill policy.
The second was to report the sighting, with photos, to The Harlequin Ladybird Survey. This helps build up a picture of the scale and extent of what many regard as an infestation. What, if anything, can then be done about it is another matter.