Unseasonably wet weather has caused swarms of grasshoppers to descend upon Las Vegas up and down the strip.
The Daily Mail reported that all over social media, people in Las Vegas have been taking video as the grasshoppers seem to pile on the Nevada city. As people walk down the street, they are seen shielding their heads from the critters who seem to be coming at them.
Though the appearance of such a volume of adult desert grasshoppers is startling, experts say that people shouldn't be alarmed. Jeff Knight, the state entomologist with the Nevada Department of Agriculture, explained the phenomenon.
"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. We'll have flights about this time of the year, migrations, and they'll move northward."Knight says that the abnormally wet winter and spring could have caused the uptick in the desert grasshopper population. He adds that despite their size, the grasshoppers don't bite, sting, or carry infection.
The desert grasshoppers are also thought to be moving north at such a fast clip that they are unlikely to do any damage to property or plants as they will migrate further into the desert.Knight explains that the grasshoppers might be swarming the Vegas strip, as they are particularly attracted to ultraviolet light.
Lyft driver Jessica Palmore took a video of the insects at night flying above the Luxor Hotel & Casino on Thursday, and they could be seen swarming toward the spotlight.
"I know they are harmless, but they make me super itchy seeing them. Oh no, something is not right with the world, I cannot even take this. Oh my god, it goes up so far, they're all bugs," Palmore said.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that for people who want to see more of the grasshoppers they can head out to the desert where the population is really surging.
Many of the grasshoppers will likely mate while they are in town, but the conditions are not right for them to lay their eggs and complete the cycle. The grasshoppers that have made it to Las Vegas are all adults, measuring no more than 1.5 inches, but with wings that help them fly up to 10 feet high and end up 30 feet away.
It is anticipated that the grasshoppers will only stay in town for up to a few weeks, and to make them move you can swat them to scare them off.