1 Oct 2016

Swarm of termites descends on Fiji's Lautoka

7:04 pm on 1 October 2016

Communities around the Fiji town of Lautoka have reportedly been hit by swarms of termites.

The Fiji Times reports that since Thursday night, the town has been blanketed by swarms of the small bug, which have surrounded street lights and poured through floorboards.

Some residents have lit bonfires to try and attract and destroy the bugs.

The chairman of the Biosecurity Authority, Xavier Riyaz Khan, says he was aware of the situation in Lautoka, and advisories have gone out.

In 2009, a similar infestation prompted a massive spraying campaign.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Times was this week fined by the Biosecurity Authority over its reporting on the movement of termites in Labasa.

The authority took issue with an article about infestation hotspots in the Vanua Levu town, saying the information was inaccurate.

It said the newspaper had breached an order not to public articles on various pests and diseases which would obstruct the authority or cause panic and unrest.

The Fiji Times editor in chief Fred Wesley said the penalty questions the paper's ability to report freely on biosecurity issues that are of national interest.