Aphid shortage pushes Dutch ladybirds to bite beachgoers

This weekend, beachgoers noticed a large number of ladybirds wandering around, reports RTL Nieuws. It is unknown what their exact demands are, but a spokesperson for the ladybug association has asked for help to locate aphids.

Joyce Walkier, an assistant manager at a beach club in Noordwijk, saw hundreds of these critters while at work.

She opened an umbrella which had dozens of them inside. “There were more and more throughout the day. At the entrance there was a lot of flying around, we had ladybugs on our shoulders and guests too. They were everywhere.”

Some of the guests were less than enthusiastic of the ladybugs invasion, but many responded positively. Joyce herself took the sight as a moment of nostalgia from her youth.

Mysterious disappearance

The very next day, the ladybugs disappeared without a trace, to Joyce’s disappointment. Scientists are now using a microscope to analyse the farewell letter some of the ladybugs left behind, but without any substantial conclusions yet.

Vincent Kalkman from Naturalis explained why he believes the ladybugs appeared in such large numbers only to disappear. Depending on the year, ladybugs build up large populations. “Then you get very large numbers. And in the places where they live there is a lack of food. They then think: we are hungry, we have to go. Then they sometimes fly en masse.”

As ladybugs can only fly downwind, they sometimes end up on the beach, as they are tired of flying and just wanna chillax, eat aphids and make people either really nervous or glad to see them.

However, as they can’t usually find aphids on the beach, they’ll bite people too. Don’t take it personally, they’re just a tiny bit hungry. If nothing there is to eat, they’ll continue on flying, usually leading to an untimely demise in the sea. Such is the circle of life.

Have you seen any of the ladybugs this past weekend chillin’ at the beach? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image: Jerzy Gorecki/ Pixabay

 

Vlad Moca-Grama
Vlad was born and raised in Brasov, Romania and came to the Hague to study. When he isn't spending time missing mountains or complaining about the lack of urban exploration locations in the Netherlands, you can find him writing at Dutch Review.

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