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A Nelson woman who was surprised to find insects come out of her hot water tap says she wants others to know about the problem as it could happen to them.

When Olga Reid noticed a collection of bug parts come out with her hot water, her first thought was that there were cluster flies coming out of the tap.

"I noticed heads, legs, bits and pieces, the sink water here came out like a stew and there was bugs all around the place," Reid said. Part of an insect, identified as a wool carder bee, that came out of the hot water tap in Olga Reid's house.

"I didn't want them in there so I wanted to set out to find out how to get rid of them."

The Stoke resident had trouble getting the insects identified, she contacted both the Nelson City Council and the Public Health Service to get to the bottom of where they had come from.

"I wasn't happy to find out that nobody knew about them," she said. Photos of the insects were send to entomologist Richard Toft, who identified them as wool carder bees.

The bees, which look like a cross between a honey bee and a wasp first arrived in the country 10 years ago and Toft said Nelson was one of the first places they were discovered.

Toft said they liked to nest in crevices which would explain how they ended up getting into plumbing.

"The funny thing was other people were telling me about their showers being blocked and I was trying to find out why," Reid said. "People do need to know about them and what to do."

Reid drained her hot water cylinder with the help of a neighbour and called a plumber who was able to fix the problem by putting a gauze over the vent pipe.

Plumbers have commented that it was a problem for those that had low pressure, open-vented hot water systems.  The presence of insects was the first thing looked for when people had a dripping shower head or no hot water coming out of their tap.

Source: Stuff.co.nz

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