News

Bug plague hits the city

A handful of the Dytiscidae beetles that have appeared in their thousands around Bundaberg.
A handful of the Dytiscidae beetles that have appeared in their thousands around Bundaberg. Scottie Simmonds

IN the past week Bundaberg has looked like a scene straight out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, with thousands of beetles plaguing brightly lit areas after sundown.

The swarm of beetles, some more than 5cm long, are coming out at night and showing no mercy as they latch on to buildings, cars and anything that looks like a good habitat.

Bugs for Bugs director and entomologist Dan Papacek identified the creepy crawlies as belonging to the Dytiscidae family.

He said they were more commonly known as water beetles, which bred and lived in shallow water areas, such as ponds, dams and slow-moving water.

“The recent rain has created an ideal habitat in many of the marshy and low-lying areas around Bundaberg,” Mr Papacek said.

“There is a lot of opportunity to breed because of extra ponds and water areas.”

Although water beetles are harmless to humans, they come in droves and are hard to dodge in the open air.

Mr Papacek said the beetles in their young stages spent their lives in watery habitats.

“They’re predators who feed on other insects and other small aquatic life forms,” he said.

“The adults can emerge in large numbers at times and are very much attracted to bright lights.”

Mr Papacek said a combination of warm weather and recent rain was responsible for the sudden swarm.

“They go out at night to look for new habitats and places to breed,” he said.

Mr Papacek said the good news was the sudden plague of beetles would be short-lived.

“From time to time you get an event like this,” he said.

Bundaberg Regional Council health and environment director Greg Savage said he was not aware of any complaints about the beetles.

He said they were not deemed to be a council issue unless they had a health effect on people.

“If it’s just an explosion of a natural bug which is not a public health risk, we wouldn’t be involved,” Mr Savage said.



The pacemaker cells of your gut

Restroom sign

Living Naturally: problems with the gut

Dunn eyes Millions for Group level push

TRAINING MASTERS: Matt and Keira Dunn at a Murwillumbah Racecourse race day.

Trainer eyes a cast of millions.

Pennant season out of sync?

SWING DOCTOR: Norman Carmichael, pictured with Julie Keegan, has sadly passed away.

Greg Kelly: On the mat.

Latest deals and offers

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

Rachel Weisz understands celebrity gossip fascination

Actor Rachel Weisz

Weisz says mystery is good for an actor

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m