On Thursday evening, videos began circulating the internet showing infestations of bugs in several areas in Lebanon.
In one video, swarms of insects were flying around street lamps in Baalbek and surrounding villages.
Another video from Bekaa showed a massive army of beetles like cockroaches casually scurrying about.
On Friday afternoon, people in other parts of Lebanon, including Beirut, began complaining of tiny flying bugs and termites in their homes and mentioned having very itchy bug bites.
A clarification has been published since the complaints began, in which it is revealed that some of the beetles seen in Bekaa towns are actually the same black beetles that appeared last year in the region.
They are called Calosoma beetles. They come out from under the soil and are actually beneficial to plants.
The emergence of these insects may be related to the heatwave Lebanon is experiencing at the moment. The temperature suddenly rose to 30+ Celsius degrees this week, after very heavy rain last weekend.
In addition, last summer, the coastal cities in northern Lebanon were also hit by a wave of tiny insects locally called ‘namnoum’. They ravaged beach resorts, restaurants, street carts, and anywhere they landed, and also damaged some crops in some areas.
For the small flying pests, the government would have usually sprayed pesticides to avoid these swarms. However, with the coronavirus issue at hand, it seems they didn’t.
As the government has ordered four days of total shutdown, it seems the bugs have guaranteed that people will abide by the lockdown with pleasure.