'First time I saw such a scene in my life': Large swarm of flying insects disrupt operations at Upper Bukit Timah restaurant

'First time I saw such a scene in my life': Large swarm of flying insects disrupt operations at Upper Bukit Timah restaurant
Swarms of flying insects were seen outside Karu’s Indian Banana Leaf Restaurant on March 28, 2024.
PHOTO: Shin Min Daily News

Diners at Karu's Indian Banana Leaf Restaurant along Upper Bukit Timah Road had their meals interrupted by some unexpected guests on Thursday (March 28).

A woman, identified only as Lee, told Shin Min Daily News how a swarm of flying insects, suspected to be flying ants, had suddenly descended upon the restaurant at about 8pm that evening.

"It was really scary, so I could only take a three-second video before putting my phone down," the 30-year-old said, sharing that this is the first time she had seen something like this.

Lee told the Chinese daily in its report on Saturday (March 30) that the service staff responded quickly by spraying pesticide outside the restaurant, and the number of flying ants significantly reduced after 10 minutes.

She had also told the staff to turn off the lights as the ants appeared to be attracted to it.

Karu's owner Mani (transliteration) ended up halting restaurant operations for 10 minutes as diners dined in the dark.

The 58-year-old told Shin Min that this is the first time he has faced such a situation at his restaurant.

"Rather than saying that this is the first time such a thing has happened in 30 years since I started the business, this is actually the first time I've encountered such a scene in my life," Mani shared.

He added that as the incident happened after peak hours, there were not many customers in the restaurant at the time. However, as it was difficult to stop customers from entering or leaving the premises, some of the flying ants still flew into the restaurant, but the situation was managed by their staff quickly.


Despite the harrowing experience and having to dine in darkness for 10 minutes, Lee praised restaurant staff for their good service.

"They also didn't expect such a situation to happen and kept apologising to us," she said.

Qiu, an employee of a shop selling baby products located next to the restaurant, shared that this is also the first time he'd faced such a situation since their business opened a year ago. He added that during the incident, some of the insects also flew into their shop.

The 38-year-old added: "We swept the floor once before closing and again the next morning. There was a huge amount of flying ants both inside and outside the shop."

Pest control experts whom Shin Min spoke to indicated that the rare sight might be a swarm of migrating flying ants. One expert also did not rule out the possibility that the insects could be a species of termites and said that shops in the vicinity should check to see if they spot any powdered termite droppings nearby.

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