NSW residents brace for worst floods in 50 years…and so do their insect neighbours.
18,000 people evacuated in Sydney and mid-north coast, whilst 10m Australians are under weather warning.
A blanket of brown hairy legs greeted home-owners near Kinchela Creek this week. Thousands of insects fleeing the floods poured over homes, infesting garages, walls and even crawling up legs as they searched for higher grounds.
“It’s amazing. It’s crazy, the spiders all crawled up on to the house, on to fences and whatever they can get on to.”— Matt Lovenfosse told the Guardian Australia
It’s not only insects fleeing the floods, also snakes going up the trees!
“There were also skinks, ants, basically every insect, crickets – all just trying to get away from the flood waters. My husband videoed it, because I was not going close to it. When he was standing still he had spiders climbing up his legs. A skink used him as a pole to get away from the water.
Spiders are vital for a healthy ecosystem: scientists urge to avoid using insecticide!
Dr Lizzy Lowe, an arachnologist at the independent research company Cesar Australia, hopes residents will tame their fears and have empathy for their spider guests. She urges them to avoid using insecticides as they will eventually disperse as soon as the flood waters are down again—“they’re not going to be doing anyone any harm.”
“There’s no more spiders than would be there usually, you’re just seeing more of them. Most of the spiders that you’re seeing are ground-dwelling spiders.”—Dr. Lizzy Lowe
Lowe also stressed spiders’ vital role in the ecosystem. As avid insect hunters, spiders keep the insect populations at bay: “We should be worrying about saving the spiders as much as we’re worried about saving the koalas.”
Meanwhile NSW residents hope the floods will reign in the ongoing mouse plague…
That’s not all. People have been busy dealing with an ongoing mouse plague. Now they hope the floods will at least rid them of this pest. But, scientists seem uncertain that the rain will help as “mice will hunker down, and then be right back in business”