An unexpected Christmas guest

We like to get a real tree for Christmas every year, the lovely smell of the pine really adds to the festive feeling! Sometimes we get more than we expected... a few years ago we found a beautiful nest in the tree; this year we found an unexpected visitor... a cute little ladybird.

It is likely that most of our Christmas trees are hiding a multitude of insects in various stages of life cycle and hibernation. In fact a recent article suggests up to 25,000 creatures may be found on one tree alone. These can include mites, aphids, beetles and spiders.  Many, like our little ladybird, may awaken from their hibernation once they are brought into the warmth of the house.  Some in the egg stage of development may hatch but most will just stay resting on the tree and will be none the wiser of their new surroundings, being removed from the house when the tree goes out after Christmas. Even if they do wander from the tree most of these insects pose very little threat to the house or its inhabitants and will often die due to heat and lack of food.

This little guy obviously did waken and decided to take a little walk around his new surroundings. We were glad to see him as we had noticed a real reduction in our sighting of ladybirds this Summer, a casualty of our late and hot weather meant a reduction in aphids and therefore a drop in their food supply. 

Who doesn't like the ladybirds? Let's hope the weather is more favourable for these little gardeners friends in 2014.

Here are ten facts about the ladybird that you may not have known...

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