Referee Challenge: Ball moved by insects

Another one without a video, but I’d be struggling to recreate this situation. Again a real happening, this time from the Wiltshire Ladies at North Wilts.

The 11th hole at North Wilts plays downhill and there is a steep bank leading down at the back of the green. I was called down to the green and arrived to find an unhappy lady with a putter in her hand surveying her ball at the bottom of this bank from where it is quite a tricky up and down, and not one you would think to attempt by putting it up the bank.

The whole group gathered to tell me that the ball had come to rest after the approach shot at the top of the bank. Once at the green, the player was sizing up her putt when she noticed a collection of little bugs (5mm long or so) massing under the ball (there were a lot of them on the course that day). A couple of moments later and this group of bugs had dislodged the ball from the edge of the green and it ran down to the bottom of the bank.

What’s the rule and how should she proceed?

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