You wouldn't be alone in thinking Canberra has been taken over by Christmas beetles these holidays, as mild, wet weather throughout 2016 created perfect conditions for the bugs.
Eleanor Dean has lived in her Cook home for 11 years and said the beetles had taken over the Eucalyptus tree in her front yard, covering her driveway with beetles and beetle poo.
"I've lived here since March 2006. I've never seen this before," she said. "It's disgusting when it smells."
CSIRO Research Projects Officer Alan Landford said a milder, wetter than usual winter and spring had made perfect conditions not just for Christmas beetles but their food source of leaves.
He said people on picnics this time of year could feel Christmas beetle droppings raining down on them when sitting under a eucalyptus tree, which sounded a lot like the situation Ms Dean's family had found themselves in.
Ms Dean said she'd had family friends over for Christmas and they were horrified how covered in bug poo their cars were in the few hours they'd been under the tree.
Ms Dean's two children, Thomas McDonald, 10, and Arabella McDonald, 12, were just as unimpressed, with Thomas particularly grossed out because he'd never encountered Christmas beetles before.
Mr Landford said Christmas beetles' lifespan was a couple of months after they emerged from the ground as adults. So after their peak in mid-December, the beetles could be expected to stick around till late January, early February.
"They emerge after two or three decent rains in December time, when they register the conditions are right," he said.
Mr Landford said they'd also be attracted to white lights and fed on eucalypt leaves, which could cause a lot of defoliation but they would only really damage trees already in trouble.
The adult Christmas beetle was a good source of food for birds, but Ms Dean had failed to notice any birds hanging around her yard.
"It's possible that there are so many million of them that the birds are gorging themselves as well," Mr Landford said and laughed.