The dreaded Mount mauler appears to have returned for another summer, with some Facebook users sharing their experiences of being bitten already.
In a post to the Papamoa Link Facebook page, Grant Kedian gave people a ‘heads up' that the maulers were at it again on the beach.
“I got smashed yesterday past the houses at the Papamoa end,” he says.
He offered some useful suggestions to avoid being bitten, including staying below the high-tide mark and spraying yourself (and your towel) with insect repellent.
If you do get bitten, Grant suggests not touching them (as one bump can turn into five this way) and to take an antihistamine.
Others responded to the post, saying they had been bitten as well, or had found itchy bumps or dots on their body, and now knew what the cause was.
For those new to the Mount and Papamoa, the ‘Mount mauler' is the local name for a kind of beach insect that lives principally above the high-tide mark.
In the past, sunbathers have complained of coming home and finding themselves covered in bites, although most people only get them on their feet from walking across the dry sand.
There is some debate over what the insect looks like, and whether it is the adult or larvae form that causes the irritating bites.
If you have conclusive evidence of what the culprit looks like, email your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org