Mormon crickets, which are big, dark colored insects that thrive in drought-like conditions, may now be making a comeback. In the recent years, Nevada has been blanketed by these crickets that devour crops, garden vegetables and even each other!
It turns out, the Mormon crickets get their name for almost destroying all the crops of Utah’s Mormon settlers back in the year 1848. Ever since, the fields and nightmares of Western residents have been populated by these cannibalistic insects. Occasionally, their population balloons into something out of a Hitchcock movie but like locusts, the insects are omnipresent.
For all those who’re wondering what these creepy crawlies look like, well, they resemble a cross between a cricket and a grasshopper though they are actually not crickets, and to put it simply, they are not something anyone wants invading their neighbourhood.
In 2003 — according to the Reno Gazette-Journal — local officials in Elko County declared a state of emergency “after the Mormon crickets invaded parts of Elko, crawling over the walls of a hospital and making roads unsafe with a slippery coating of crushed insects.”
The officials are apprehending about a similar invasion in the works with drought conditions particularly bad in Nevada, and a mild winter only just in the rear view mirror.
“It is more than we’ve found for the last several years,” Nevada’s state entomologist Jeff Knight explained– speaking of the growing decibel levels coming from the chirp-filled deserts some 100 miles north of Reno. “We’ll have to see what happens.”
While these Mormon crickets are currently in the middle of nowhere, reports are that they ae moving towards the east (shudder).