Residents of a German village are celebrating victory over an unwelcome invader: thousands of millipedes which have turned their streets, gardens and homes into something from a horror film.
A foot-high wall, which will eventually encircle Obereichstaett in Bavaria, has finally stemmed the nightly flow of the crawling creatures, which have afflicted the village every autumn for hundreds of years.
Bernhard Koderer, 45, who lives with his wife and two children, said: "Last year was the worst so far. The road to my house was completely covered.
"You couldn’t take a step without crushing a dozen underfoot. The smell was disgusting."
Zoologists called in to advise were unable to tell the inhabitants where the millipedes – Megaphyllum unilineatum – came from, and instead helped design a metal-lined wall with an overhanging lip. Poison was not a solution because so much would be needed.
Now, the creatures can instead be seen in their thousands crawling around the wall every night.