Call it a throwback to Hitchcock’s cult screen adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘Birds’. While it was a flock of fowls that struck terror in the sleepy Bodega Bay of California in the reel adaptation, it is a bunch of creepy crawlies that has sent residents of a little known West Midnapore village scurrying for help.
Known to feed on decaying leaves or dead plant matter, the humble millipedes have scared the living daylights out of villagers at Dangarpara in West Midnapore’s Narayangarh.
Such has been the reign of terror unleashed by these tiny creatures that the villagers turned to the BDO (block) urging to be rid of the millipede menace. Acting on the plea, the BDO directed the local panchayat chairperson to take necessary measures.
“Millipedes are known to flock rural areas at this time of year. However, the sheer number of them at Dangarpara prompted the residents to move a mass petition, urging help. I’ve directed the pradhan (chairperson) of Kushbasan gram panchayat to take necessary action,” Manikratan Singha Roy, BDO of Narayangarh, told HT.
Huge numbers of millipedes have crawled into every nook and corner of Dangarpara striking fear across the village. While seen flocking roadside, they have also crept into rooms, around tube wells as well massing around villagers as they sit down to take their meals.
“The millipedes give off a foul smell and many feel unwell and throw up after sighting them in huge numbers. We tried spreading insecticide to drive them away, but it didn’t work,” Balaichandra Mondal, a local, told HT.