Singapore

Winds blow worms to Bukit Timah Hawker Centre

Every August and September, stall holders at Bukit Timah Hawker Centre suffer a big headache. And it has nothing to do with the haze.

The source of their woes? Little yellow worms that "invade" every nook and cranny of the premises.

These slug lookalikes, which are the size of a five-cent coin, flourish in a nearby Banyan tree.

Each time the wind blows, hundreds of worms on the falling leaves crawl or drop into the hawker centre, Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao reported.

Unwelcome visitors: Bright yellow worms, about the size of a five-cent coin, "invade" Bt Timah Hawker Centre every August and September. PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

Madam Wang, who runs a clothes stall on the ground storey, said that when customers or passers-by inadvertently step on the insects, it leaves a messy "stain that's difficult to wash out".

Vice-chairman of the Bukit Timah Hawker Centre Association Chen Mu Zhen, 66, said the phenomenon started over 10 years ago:

"The worms appeared when the tree was still a small sapling. There would be at most 10 worms or so last time.

"But now, there are so many that you can't even count them."

Some of the stall owners are worried that the appearance of so many worms would affect business.

Madam Wang added: "I'm worried the worms will get into the clothes. Their presence may put people off."

Pest exterminators from MaxPest said the worms belong to the Limacodidae family of moths, which breed in trees and are commonly found in Borneo.

To prevent the insects from crawling into the stalls, a MaxPest spokesman suggested building a drain between the field and the hawker centre.

He said the worms were harmless. 

Source: Lianhe Wanbao

SingaporeBukit TimahEnvironmentUncategorised