Published: Sat, June 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Swarm of ladybugs caught on National Weather Service radar

Swarm of ladybugs caught on National Weather Service radar

Officials say the cloud of ladybugs is termed a "bloom".

"And that's where all the birds and all the bugs and all that stuff are - they don't go above that layer", he said.

On Wednesday, the U.S. National Weather Service caught something on its radars in San Diego County, California.

Things got stranger when they consulted with spotters on the ground, the Los Angeles Times reports: The blob, estimated at about 80 miles by 80 miles and moving quickly across San Bernardino County, was actually an enormous swarm, or bloom, of ladybugs. Instead, they were scattered throughout the sky and flying between 5,000 and 9,000 feet in the air.

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Meteorologist Joe Dandrea says the array of bugs appeared to be about 130km wide as it flew over San Diego Tuesday. "The observer there said you could see little specks flying by".

Were it not for an improvement in technology, the ladybug swarm might not have shown up on the radar at all.

About 200 species of ladybugs exist in California, and most are predators both as adults and larvae, the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program said.

It wasn't immediately known what type of ladybird was causing the phenomenon. When it's summer and there aren't as many aphids left, the ladybugs head to higher elevations to find food.

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