Mystery as millions of bugs swarm over beach in Yorkshire

Thousands of bugs have appeared all over a beach in Yorkshire. The swarm of insects has covered huge parts of the beach at Cayton Bay, near Scarborough. Sue Weatherill, who lives nearby, came across the scene while walking on the beach on Monday. She said: ‘I was out doing my hour exercise and I walked along the beach and could see what looked like tiny little seed pods.

‘It was unusual for that beach – I’ve never actually seen anything like that before but when you actually looked closer they were sort of like beetles and had wings. ‘I posted it when I got home and saw other people had seen similar things on that bay and up the coast. It seems to be the east coast. ‘I was more stunned realising they were living creatures. There were just masses and masses of them. ‘Usually you see seaweed left behind by the tide and from a distance that’s what it looks like and as you approach you think ‘what are these?’

‘It’s totally different to anything I’ve seen down there.’ Some have speculated that the insects are Lochmaea suturalis. They are more commonly known as heather beetles because they feed on the plant. The beetles are native to the region and may have migrated over from the North Yorkshire Moors. But a statement released on Tuesday by the Scarborough and Burniston Coastguard Rescue Team suggested the bugs were European Chafer Beetles usually only found in mainland Europe. The statement said: ‘Yesterday afternoon whilst the team were on a coastal patrol, a member of the public alerted them to something strange on the beach. ‘It appears that a large number of European Chafer Beetles have washed up on a few beaches around Scarborough. ‘The Coastguard Counter Pollution team have been informed so the source can be investigated.’