Beetles invade Israel, but ministry says let them be
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Beetles invade Israel, but ministry says let them be

All together now: Swarms of big, black and annoying — but harmless — Calosoma olivieri beetles are infesting Israel

The Calosoma olivieri beetle. (Dr. Uri Shalom, Ministry of Environmental Protection)
The Calosoma olivieri beetle. (Dr. Uri Shalom, Ministry of Environmental Protection)

Hordes of large black beetles have invaded Israel, descending upon homes and leaving a foul stench in their wake.

The Environmental Protection Ministry confirmed Monday that the bugs are being found in large quantities in many communities around the country.

Dr. Leibele Friedman of Tel Aviv University identified the creatures as the common Calosoma olivieri, which grow up to 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) in length, a ministry statement said.

The beetles are not harmful, don’t transmit diseases and are actually beneficial to agriculture because of their appetite for smaller bugs, so pesticides should not be used against them.

The notoriously poor flyers do, however, emit a foul stench when they careen into people.

The insects tend to arrive in urban areas in the evening and after landing on the ground, search for a hiding place and usually die within a few hours.

The pestilence, which comes on the heels of a much less icky butterfly migration, is expected to end soon as the weather turns hotter after a particularly rainy winter.

There have also been reports of large quantities of moths invading areas.

The ministry told exterminators not to spray without a permit, essentially saying we can work it out.

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