Migrating grasshoppers descended upon Las Vegas, Nevada, this week as they move north, causing some residents alarm.
— CNN International (@cnni) July 26, 2019
Jeff Knight, a state entomologist with the Nevada Department of Agriculture, said Thursday that the mass amounts of the winged insects are most likely due to the recent wet weather.
“It appears through history that when we have a wet winter or spring, these things build up often down below Laughlin and even into Arizona,” he said. “We’ll have flights about this time of the year, migrations, and they’ll move northward.”
Nevada averaged 9.94 inches of rain this year between January and June, nearly double the average 5.92 inches, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported, making it the third-wettest period on record.
News outlets and some tourists have posted videos and photos of the grasshopper invasion online:
— Las Vegas RJ (@reviewjournal) July 26, 2019
Diana Rodriquez, a tourist who saw the swarms of grasshoppers on the Las Vegas Strip, said they did not want to approach certain doorways due to the mass amounts of insects on the ground and in the air.
“It was crazy. We didn’t even want to walk through there. Everybody was going crazy,” she said. “We were wondering like what’s going on. Why are they just focused on that little section?”
Pest control technician Trent English said he saw people at a local gas station afraid to get out of their cars because of the grasshoppers.
“It created a little bit of a panic epidemic because people didn’t know what they were,” he commented.
“They don’t carry any diseases. They don’t bite. They’re not even one of the species that we consider a problem,” he noted, adding, “When you have thousands of insects like that, it does create that panic in somebody’s mind.”