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Near Sin City A Plague of 'Cannibal' Crickets Is Causing a Terrifying Problem of Biblical Proportion

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Millions of invasive and cannibalistic insects have descended on communities in northern Nevada, and their presence is forcing some people to remain inside their homes.

The invasion is so severe that USA Today reporter Natalie Alund called it a “nightmare of Biblical proportions.”

For now, the bugs have set their sights on the town of Elko, Nevada:

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The bugs are known as “Mormon crickets,” although according to the University of Nevada, Reno, they are not actually crickets.

“Mormon crickets are flightless, grounddwelling insects native to the western United States,” the school said.

Should the government be allowed to tamper with the ecosystem by introducing non-native species?

In addition to eating one another without another food source, they feed on “grasses, shrubs, and cultivated forage crops.”

That has adverse effects on livestock, which rely on grazing.

The school added, “In large numbers, [Mormon cricket] feeding can contribute to soil erosion, poor water quality, nutrient depleted soils, and potentially cause damage to range and cropland ecosystems.”

The bugs are making life difficult for residents all across the region as they have descended on communities in the millions since they came out of a recent dormancy.

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A rancher named Skye Krebs described dealing with an infestation in his community in 2017 — one USA Today reported was the most severe since the 1940s.

Krebs called the invasion “truly biblical” and explained how the pests can be dangerous.

“On the highways, once you get them killed, then the rest of them come,” Krebs said of the two-inch cannibals.

Their “greasy, gross” insides then make road conditions hazardous and have contributed to a number of car accidents.

In addition to being a potential safety hazard, the bugs are a nuisance that is making people seek refuge indoors.

One TikTok user named Colette Reynolds shared a video of her own personal siege.

@auntie_coolette♬ original sound – Colette Reynolds

She explained what happens when a Mormon cricket is killed.

“The living ones turn back around to devour their friends that got ran over.”

Until the Mormon crickets go dormant again, residents who are currently dealing with their presence, are encouraged to be patient.

During an interview with KSL-TV, Jeff Knight with the Nevada Department of Agriculture said the bugs will move on from their current locations within a few days.

“I do sympathize with people because it is overwhelming to have these kinds of population but will go away,” he said.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.




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