'Wall' of insects rises over beach on Acadian Peninsula

A video of insects swarming over a beach on the Acadian Peninsula has a biologist thinking cold-weather conditions are to blame.

Monia Chiasson of Caraquet decided to go for an early morning walk with her boyfriend on Sunday, but when they arrived at the beach at Four Roads, about 25 kilometres south of the town, a man told them to stay away because a swarm of mosquitoes had formed. 

Instead of leaving, the pair recorded a video that impressed biologist Gaétan Moreau.

The video showing thousands of insects swarming over the beach was soon shared more than 500 times on Facebook.

It gave me shivers to see that. The further we went, the worse it was. It looked like a wall. - Monia Chiasson

Chiasson said the cloud started to dissolve after 30 minutes but she can still hear the buzz of the insects.

"It gave me shivers to see that," Chiasson said in an interview with Radio-Canada. "The further we went, the worse it was. It looked like a wall."

Moreau, a professor of insect ecology at the University of Moncton, said he can't confirm what type of insects they were, but they had the appearance of midges, or small flies. They aren't mosquitos.

"It's a bit like the mosquito's cousin," Moreau said in an interview with Radio-Canada.

He said the cloud of insects was likely caused by cold spring weather and warmer temperatures now.

"What happened this year was that it was so cold that the development of the insects advanced but could not continue because it lacked elements of heat," Moreau said. "So all that is happening now is happening in a hurry."

Moreau said it's common for insects to swarm together, and they aren't dangerous, but this cloud was larger than normal.

"Sometimes we see little ones, but it's a very, very, very big cloud," he said. "It's still pretty impressive to see waves like that moving, but it's not unusual."