An entomologist from the North West University, Professor Johnnie van den Berg, says the infestation of what is believed to be red-headed blister beetles at Tlapeng village, outside Mahikeng, is caused by climate change and the recent torrential rains.

The insects secrete a liquid substance that burns and infects the skin. Residents have complained about the beetle and alerted authorities after noticing huge amounts of these insects inside their homes.

Professor van den Berg says residents should not worry too much, as the insects will go away soon.

“It is not a disaster. This problem will go away very quickly. The outbreak is because of the climate we’ve had over the past week or so. First, we had a severe drought and then a lot of rain. In this particular area, there must be this many beetles and the worms that change into the beetles in soil and these beetles will appear. Unfortunately in some houses, the lights are on and these beetles will aggregate and that what causes the problem.”