Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Swamped bugs feast on pumpkins

Eliza Rogers, Wednesday August 7, 2013 - 12:32 EST
ABC image
Dan Papacek orders up to 200 tonnes of butternut squash pumpkins (pictured in the chambers above) and wheat every year to fuel insect production at Bugs for Bugs. - ABC

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

© ABC 2013

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Cyclone Alfred forms in Gulf of Carpentaria, BOM warns of damaging winds, rain

15:18 EDT

A category one cyclone has formed in the Gulf of Carpentaria but is due to weaken before heading towards the Northern Territory coast.

King Ash Bay fishing village flooded as Tropical Cyclone Alfred forms in Gulf of Carpentaria

14:35 EDT

Shacks in the fishing village of King Ash Bay in the Northern Territory's Gulf of Carpentaria have been flooded by the McArthur River.

Tropical Cyclone Alfred emerges over the Gulf

13:45 EDT

Early today, a tropical low that has been lingering over the Gulf of Carpentaria was upgraded to tropical cyclone.