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Ladybug swarm is so huge it shows up on National Weather Service radar

Fly away home, indeed.

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Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
ladybugswarm

What do you call a cloud of ladybugs?

Getty

Aw, ladybugs ("ladybirds" to Brits). Sweet little red beetles with black dots that are sometimes a nuisance and mostly just ignored. Until now.

There's a massive group of ladybugs -- called a "bloom" -- that's so huge it's actually showing up on radar in southern California.

On Tuesday night, the San Diego office of the National Weather Service tweeted out a video of radar in San Diego. But what appeared to be rain clouds turned out to be something else entirely. Let's just say things got dotty.

"The large echo showing up on SoCal radar this evening is not precipitation, but actually a cloud of ladybugs termed a 'bloom,'" the tweet reported.

According to CBS Los Angeles, the blob of bugs is 80 miles long and 80 miles wide, and is flying between 5,000 and 9,000 feet high. (Disclosure: CBS is CNET's parent site.)

Twitter users had a few things to say about how the rare occurrence uh, bugged them. "You sure it's not bees on a revenge mission?" joked one.

Some complained that the bugs bite, but most took a practical view. "Well, better than locusts," wrote one Twitter user.