Burning Man has seen bugs. Lots and lots of bugs.
According to the New York Daily News, the Burning Man festival is about a week away, but the grounds in Nevada’s Black Rock City have been swarmed by bugs this week. Described as “tiny and stinky,” the bugs in the area do indeed bite, and they are everywhere.
“The bugs mysteriously appeared in the past week shacking up in stacks of wood and carpet leaving organizers wondering where the invasion started — whether it recently hatched after laying dormant or hitched a ride through a load of construction supplies. The state’s Department of Agriculture is sending a bug expert all the way to the remote Burning Man site to collect samples of the offending critters infiltrating the makeshift city,” reports the New York Daily News.
The Burning Man bugs are attracted to the tall lights that have been erected ahead of the festival. According to USA Today, the bugs are being calling “winged ants” and “stink bugs,” and are an absolute nuisance. Gizmodo has identified a couple different species based on photographs. The green ones in the photo below are likely “stink bugs in the family Pentatomidae,” which are said to be very common in the States.
— Champagne Lounge (@CLoungebrc) August 18, 2015
Smaller, white-colored bugs have been called “seed bugs,” which aren’t all that common. The report indicates that this species likes to “poke their proboscises into people’s skin,” and do so on the hunt for water. Evidently these bugs come and go. Sometimes there will be an infestation of thousands and thousands of them, and other times they won’t be seen for several months if not years. The year 2015 is apparently a seed bug year.
So, why Burning Man bugs?
“It’s not a localized occurrence, it’s everywhere. We don’t know where they came from, but there are two main theories: One is that all the spring and summer rain has hatched critters that lie dormant, or usually come to life at a different time of year. Or maybe they hitchhiked in on a load of wood,” John Curley wrote on the Burning Man blog.
Curley has also updated those attending the festival which kicks off on August 30; things are looking better.
“This morning the wind shifted… and it blew it all away. Not to be seen. Gone with the wind,” he wrote (via NPR).
[Photo by Dan Kitwood / Getty Images News]