TINY insects set to swarm across the UK over the next few months could leave motorists with badly damaged cars and costly repair bills.
Greenfly are predicted to soar in numbers after the high temperatures of the sunniest May on record and the prospect of a decent summer to come.
But while they don’t bother most people, the critters can do a huge amount of damage if you park your car under a tree.
That’s because their poo rots paintwork and soft tops, leaving you with a bill of up to £600 for a respray or replacement.
The tiny aphids are most prevalent in the UK in the months of June and July. They suck the sap from trees and plants, which makes them a pest for farmers and gardeners.
And with the mercury set to soar again from the middle of this month – following glorious conditions in May which saw the UK bask in temperatures higher than the Mediterranean – there are likely to be more than normal buzzing around.
Mark Tongue, director of leading UK firm Select Car Leasing, says his staff are only too aware of the problems greenfly can cause and warn customers about the perils of parking under trees in the summer months.
He added: “They may be small and look harmless but you should not underestimate how much damage greenfly can cause.
“They excrete a sticky substance known as ‘honeydew’ that forms an unpleasant residue on car bonnets, boots and roofs.
“This then turns into soot-like black mould spores, which can eat through paintwork because of high acidity.
“And worse still is that this substance is really difficult to remove. The only solution is to buy some top quality cleaning products and get stuck in with plenty of elbow grease.”
It’s estimated that a mature tree can host around 2.5 million aphids and they breed rapidly.
This is due to the fact that the female reproduce “parthenogenetically” – eggs don’t need to be fertilised by a male.
And while a solitary greenfly can produce 50 offspring, that can lead to a mind-boggling six million descendants in the space of a month.
Mr Tongue added: “If you are unfortunate enough to find this sticky substance on your car it is absolutely crucial that you clean it off as soon as possible, as a respray could set you back around £600.
“I would advise all motorists to keep a close eye on their vehicles at this time of the year and maintain a fairly strict cleaning regime to make sure they escape any damage.
“This could include keeping a packet of wipes in your car to get rid of any residue as quickly as possible before a more thorough clean with specialist car detergents and even diluted bleach.”