Swamped bugs feast on pumpkinsEliza Rogers, Wednesday August 7, 2013 - 12:32 EST
An important bug farm in south-east Queensland has trucked in ten tonnes of butternut squash pumpkins from North Queensland to rebuild its stocks after the January floods literally washed much of them away.
Bugs for Bugs, in Mundubbera, which breeds bugs to fight pest insects in Australia and overseas, suffered about half a million dollars' worth of damage.
The business normally orders about 200 tonnes of butternut pumpkins and wheat a year to keep up insect production, but owner Dan Papacek says capacity's been slashed.
"Immediately after the floods, we were probably about to 5 or 10 per cent, but we're gradually building up to somewhere around 25 to 40 per cent of our former demand."
Sourcing fresh, good quality butternuts free of pesticides is pivotal to the business.
Mr Papacek says there have been some nasty surprises in the past.
"At times, we've even received pumpkins that we were assured were free of pesticide, only to find that within a few weeks, our insect cultures were dying."
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
When Cyclone Yasi devastated parts of North Queensland in 2011, the rains it brought with it took out about 20 million tonnes of coking coal production.
Tropical Cyclone Debbie has been downgraded to a category three system, having made landfall along the north Queensland coastline near Airlie Beach earlier this afternoon as a slow-moving category four system.
Panicked residents in areas affected by Cyclone Debbie have relayed their experiences to the ABC as torrential rain and wind gusts pummel the region.