A Palmerston North woman received the fright of a lifetime when she discovered a bizarre insect inside the pocket of a pair of freshly purchased pants.
The woman shared details of her find online, as well as photos of the creepy critter.
She told the Herald that she bought the pair of Anko brand pants on Saturday from the Kmart store at The Plaza shopping centre in Palmerston North.
It was only when she got the Chinese-made trousers home that she discovered the unwelcome hitchhiker.
"I was trying them on for size when I got home and it was the quickest I have ever removed a pair of pants," she told the Herald.
"I felt it in the pocket and just threw them off in lightning speed."
She said it was "pretty weird experience".
She shared the photos on a popular Facebook page and was flooded with offers of identification.
"A Quiet Place about to happen for real," joked one, referencing the monsters from the 2018 horror film.
Others suggested a legless wētā, a rat skeleton and an alien baby.
"Don't feed it after 12!" one person said.
The most educated guesses fell on the insect being a mole cricket, with many urging the woman to report the find to authorities.
New Zealand only has one endemic species of mole cricket, but there are numerous species found overseas that are considered pests here.
She told the Herald that she did report the find to the Ministry for Primary Industries and to Kmart.
She said MPI advised her to keep the bug in a jar and Kmart initially apologised and promised to follow up.
An MPI spokesperson told the Herald that they have identified the insect as a mole cricket, but are waiting for the woman to send it to them, so they examine it and confirm whether it is a native or exotic species.
They said that the insect appears to be long dead and therefore would not pose any biosecurity risk.
Kmart did not respond to questions by time of publication.
This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.