The bug known as the Mount Mauler is back, and already it has be' />

Beach lovers beware - there's a menace on the beach but it's not what you might think.
The bug known as the Mount Mauler is back, and already it has been covering its victims in unbearable itchy spots.
Mount Maunganui pharmacist Mark Bedford has taken a special interest in the bug after spending 14 years treating beach-goers with the bites.
This summer the sand bug appeared earlier than usual, he said.
"It's already started, which is a bit early. I gather that's more to do with the fact the weather's been good, and there's more people on the beach swimming."
Bites from the bug - which is actually an insect called phycosecis limbata - often cover its victim from head to toe.
The bug looks like a translucent maggot, and moves at a fast rate over the body.
Bites occur when the bug is in its larval stage, between November and February - just when everyone is at the beach.
It lives only in soft sand, so the best way to avoid being bitten on the beach is to sit below the waterline.
Although it's called the Mount Mauler, other Bay beaches are not exempt - Mr Bedford believes the bug is prevalent all along the East Coast. The bites are not painful or noticeable when they are occurring. But two or three days later, itchy welts appear on the skin.
Mr Bedford is gearing up for more victims of the Mauler - last year he saw at least 20 people each day between Christmas and New Year.
"It will start hitting them from here."
Bites from the Mount Mauler are more than just your average itchy-bite - Mr Bedford describes them as hellish.
"If they get well bitten they are in a for a week of hell. If a person gets a real hit from this thing, they are in a mess. They won't sleep for three or four nights."
If you get bitten, the best action is to see a pharmacist for anti-itch cream and antihistamines.
Mr Bedford has referred some cases to a GP so steroid cream can be prescribed.
Locum pharmacist Rachel Parker, from John's At Palm Beach Plaza Pharmacy, said she had seen several cases of people suffering from the bites.
"They are very itchy - it feels like your skin is crawling.. The itch is the main thing."
She advised topical creams, antihistamines, and keeping the area cool.
MOUNT MAULER
The "beach bug" or "Mount Mauler" looks like a translucent maggot, and is called phycosecis limbata.
What it does: It moves at a fast rate across the body, covering the person in extremely itchy bites, causing sleepless nights and medical treatment is required in some cases.
How to avoid it: Sit below the water line - the bug only lives in dry sand.
What to do if you are bitten: See a pharmacist for anti-itch cream and antihistamines.
Serious cases are referred to a doctor for a prescription of steroid cream.