The natural habitat of Cimex lectualrius is furniture and matresses. Better known as the bedbug, this insect has been living with humans since pre-historical times, when it shifted its attentions from bats to cave-dwelling people. It largely disappeared from British lives after the Second World War, due to widespread use of synthetic insecticides. But in the last couple of decades it’s been enjoying a resurgence. The modern day bedbug takes advantage of our globe-trotting society and is not selective, hitching a ride in suitcases or rucksacks, and staying in 5 star hotels or backpacker hostels. Continue reading Bedbugs in Britain
Summer time is perilous, judging by some of the recent headlines in the Daily Telegraph:
Wasp Hordes poised to invade British Gardens, Army of Flying Ants descend on Britain, Swarm of Millions of Ladybirds infests farm.
It’s enough to make you flee indoors and hide, with all windows sealed shut.
But one invasion is described in words that don’t invite fear and loathing: Billions of Butterflies expected in Gardens. Continue reading Brace yourself for the insect invasions
A third of Britain’s dragonfly species are under threat of extinction. Why? The problem is threefold: pollution, pesticides and habitat loss. So the opening of a Dragonfly sanctuary in Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire, is timely. In a pristine environment of ditches and ponds, 21 of Britain’s 42 species can be seen. Read more in the Guardian.
With one third of everything we eat involved bee pollination, the current collapse in honey bee populations could cost country £200 million Hives in the UK and elsewhere have suffered massive losses in the last few years largely due to a disease known as varroa mite. Other factors blamed for the decline include the loss of habitat like wild flower meadows, climate change, pesticide use and a mysterious condition known as “Colony Collapse Disorder”. Daily Telegraph.
According to entomologists, several once-rare species of crickets are spreading through England because of global warming, far faster than any other insect. Their chirping mating sound, more associated with the Mediterranean, is being heard further and further north.
It is estimated that there are 274,000 bee colonies in the UK. These produce an average of 6,000 tonnes of honey a year, managed by some 44,000 beekeepers. Honeybee numbers in the UK have fallen between 10 and 15% in the last two years due to colony collapse disorder.
The orange-brown Heath Fritillary (Melitaea athalia), a threatened species in the UK, has made an unexpected Continue reading Heath Fritillary Recovery
The British press has been reporting that swarms of mosquitoes are threatening to cross the Channel from France, where spraying is currently underway to control mass larva hatching. Continue reading Mosquitoes in Britain