An anonymous insect has caused a storm in the nation’s gardens by claiming on the whistleblower website Wikileaks that, contrary to the widely held folklore, ladybirds are utterly useless. Hundreds of leaked documents suggest that the red and black beetle’s role as nature’s pest controller is a myth. ‘They have fabricated this ‘Gardeners’ Friends’ image,’ said the bug, ‘but all they really do is flutter around vainly comparing the number of spots on their back. When was the last time you saw a ladybird actually eating an aphid? Eh?’
Celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh disagrees. ‘This is highly irresponsible and dangerous,’ he fumed. ‘To put ladybirds at the mercy of gardeners with insecticide is tantamount to murder. Wikileaks has chitin on its hands because of this.’
Further revelations about allegedly useful animals are expected to follow in coming weeks. Doubts are being cast about whether worms really make compost or bees pollinate flowers.