The BUG

No, Not in my code. My research for the this unknown insect has been going for sometime now. Its everywhere, (when I say everywhere trust me its all over). This is also known locally as ‘Mupli’. I am not sure why its called that way. May be because its the newest member of everyone’s family at Kottayam.

The endless rubber estates. The tapper (person who taps the rubber for latex), gets around our place at 4 in the morning. He takes his knifes and other materials and walk to our estate to begin his work. He taps every rubber tree and collect latex and come back around by 10. The rubber sheets are made out of the latex by mixing it with diluted acid. This is then sold after drying it out in the sun or in a ‘smoke room’.

This post is not about how rubber is made out of the rubber trees. Thats normal, usual thing that happen around. You might have even seen it, if you have been to Kottayam District in Kerala.

What I want to talk about is the new member in the family. Or should I call it members?

Its the newest bug in town. When I say new, its just a few years old. Noone (not even the government controlled Rubber board) have clear idea on how this bug came into town. There are zillions of them, everywhere. Once the dusk is near and people turn on the lights, they come over. They invade the entire house.

People tried different things to get rid of it.

1. Tried starting a fire, people guessed that all the bugs will get attracted to the light and eventually perish in the fire. But instead the fires were killed by the number of bugs.

2. Poisoning the entire house. This did not help either, because this did more damage to the people than the bugs. Their population was the key to their survival.

Food Chain

The bugs are at the top of the food chain, with no natural predator they multiply in millions. They feed on the dead rubber leaves(thank god as the rubber industry would have gone for a toss if they started eating the fresh ones). Rubber itself is not a natural tree in Kerala, it was bought to India by the British, where they saw a huge potential for rubber cultivation because of favorable climate.

Noone in my previous generation has see this bug. It’s either a mutated bug or took a boat from some other country.

Here is a photograph to give you an idea on the numbers and a closeup.


The bugs don’t harm humans, unless we squash it on our body. Then it excretes a fluid which is second cousin of some acid that will burn our body. This is very rare, the bug is not dangerous.

But the number of them in a house will mean, bug in your food, shirt, trousers and even undergarments. It will walk all over your body and give you little time to sleep as you will spent the entire time picking them from your body.

Now that’s one irritating member in every family.

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23 comments

  1. That really should’ve been annoying, if it kept you awake the whole night. I’m not sure if my guess about this bug is correct, but I think they have a very short span of life of a few hours, as a flying insect. correct? 😉

    1. No, they hibernate. They are active only during the summer season. I guess they lay their eggs and die.

  2. interesting..an expert in this area can shed more light on this sudden infestation. There must be some change in your area which has attracted these bugs.

    1. Its a outsider and may be got adjusted to the ecosystem !

  3. ha ha keep us posted on this new bug 😛

    1. Its all over me when I visit my home in Kerala. And some take the ride home with me to Bangalore as well !

  4. Recently, I had the pleasure of having a lot of ants for company. I lost sleep over it for several nights. Finally got some ant “bait” stations from a grocery store. No more ants. Can’t imagine living with bugs.

    1. Good thing that ants dont fly (atleast some dont).
      The bugs fly and get attracted to light !!!

  5. r they new?

    dint hear abt their sudden influx in any local news media?

    1. No, I dont think the media is interested in the bugs. For the rubber prices they are !!

  6. omg! A bug! Please keep me away from it!! A reason not to visit rubber estates I think.

    1. 🙂 lol. Yeah, rubber estates are safe heaven for almost all the creatures from Amazon that you see on discovery!

  7. Leaves an acidic fluid behind? Reminds of this bug http://is.gd/1Pny0 we used to have in our hostel. I hope this bug doesn’t turn into another mandari.

  8. Holy crap. Got lots of similar looking shit in my room as well. Tell you what, fry em. Hold a candle in the way of a Hit spray directed at them.

  9. Yiiks! How do you get rid of them?

  10. Will they have one those root cause meetings?? I have to answer 5 WHYS as to how the bug came!! and btw I think I know the bug. It was there in pondy for sometime(since I was 4!!) it was always called light poochi. I used to think it ate particles of light and multiply when i was kid!!

  11. its there everytime i go home.tried everything to get rid of them…so we just use minimum lights in the night or use a light outside to divert them.and clean them away everyday.u get used them.

  12. Takashi · · Reply

    They are called ‘Mupli’ as they are supposed to have first seen in a place called “Mupliyam” in Kerala (I forgot in which state was it).

    They had been here (and everywhere) much before they were “first found”. The problem was that they didn’t have a proper name. But now most of the people call them as ‘Mupli’ and it has become an accepted name.

    Before they got the name it was called in saome areas as ‘Ola pramani’.

    And you won’t believe, while writing this, Muplis are moving all over my computer monitor and some get on my body. I was fed up by last night’s Mupli attack. Today morning, I hunted some tens of thousands of them and was searching in net when I got tired, before I reached this blog.

  13. Man, Iam trying to find a solution for this menace …

  14. Hi , even I have the same probs. any problems?

  15. It’s taking over Kerala rubber estaty areas… Puh-leaseeee ppl who knows bug science.. Find some means to get rid of it.. At least from entering the house…
    We usually turn of the light in the house when it gets dark and chat outside the house until it gets too late… It’s usually at that time that it enters the house… When on computer make sure all the lights are on… Wear some creams.. It seems to be repellant to my ponds cream.. And it is attracted to the computer / mobile screens when the lights are off.. Naturally I guess.. Anyways.. So far these are the adaptive techniques to reduce the nuisance caused by it…

    And like I said… Ppl into bug science,, find some kinda thing to get rid of it.. :(((

  16. jibimon · · Reply

    these mulpi beetles are such a menace. they invade your house in the evening and are disgusting. someone who can find a way to get rid of them can have the next Nobel prize…ha ha

  17. Found an article which suggests to use kerosene to temporarily make the bugs fall and then collect it together and burn. The article is at http://archives.mathrubhumi.com/agriculture/story-362085.html

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