Swarm of flying insects appears outside Upper Bukit Timah restaurant, staff quickly spray pesticide

Restaurant at Upper Bukit Timah Road swarmed by flying insects on 28 March

Diners at an Indian restaurant along Upper Bukit Timah Road were shocked when the place was suddenly ‘invaded’ by a large swarm of flying insects on Thursday (28 March) night.

While most of the critters remained outside the eatery, a few managed to slip inside.

Fortunately, the staff responded quickly and managed to remedy the situation in just 10 minutes.

Huge swarm of flying insects appears outside restaurant

According to Shin Min Daily News, the incident happened at Karu’s Indian Banana Leaf Restaurant.

Source: Google Maps

Ms Li (name transliterated from Chinese), who sent the paper a short video of the scene, said that the flying insects suddenly appeared outside the restaurant at around 8pm.

She said she was so terrified that she only dared to record for about three seconds before putting her phone down.

It was also the first time she had seen flying insects on such a large scale.

The clip showed an almost plague-like cloud of small bugs flying around outside the restaurant.

Some of them were able to slip through small gaps or cracks and get inside.

Staff close restaurant for 10 minutes & spray pesticide

As soon as the insects showed up, restaurant staff swooped in to save the day by spraying pesticide outside the restaurant.

Ms Li also suggested switching off the lights since flying insects tend to be drawn to them.

During this time, business at the restaurant was temporarily suspended for about 10 minutes.

New customers were not allowed to enter while those inside continued to dine in darkness.

“I was fine with this because their service is usually very good,” said Ms Li. “They also did not expect such a thing to happen and kept apologising.”

First time owner experienced such an incident in 30 years

Speaking to Shin Min Daily News, the restaurant owner Mr Mani (name transliterated from Chinese) said that this was the first time he had encountered such a situation since he opened Karu’s 30 years ago.

In fact, he had never seen such a thing in his entire life.

Both Mr Mani and Ms Li recalled that the swarm came and went very suddenly.

The insects eventually disappeared after a few minutes, with some dying on the spot and needing to be swept up afterwards.

Other shops in the vicinity were also affected by the ‘invasion’.

Mr Qiu (name transliterated from Chinese), who works at a store selling baby products beside the restaurant, said that some insects also flew into his shop.

They had to spend both the evening and the next morning sweeping up bug carcasses because there were so many.

Insects were likely flying termites

An expert who spoke to Shin Min Daily News said that the insects could have been flying termites moving nests.

Source: PestBusters Singapore, for illustration purposes only

He added that this species usually flies out before or after rainy weather to find a suitable place to build a new nest.

Another expert said that these flying insects are highly sensitive to light and attracted to humid environments.

“They may appear seasonally or they could have been searching for a new nest because their old one was full,” he said.

Spraying insecticide in advance is not guaranteed to prevent the termites from showing up. However, stores could install bug-killing UV lamps to block them from flying in.

Also read: How to spot insect hives in S’pore & what to do if you encounter them

How to spot insect hives in S’pore & what to do if you encounter them

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Featured image adapted from Shin Min Daily News and Google Maps.

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