Grasshopper swarms have Las Vegas feeling antsy

The winged insects may outnumber the humans in some parts of town, but it's nothing to worry about.

He told reporters the migration of adult pallid-winged grasshoppers traveling north to central Nevada could be attributed to wet weather several months ago.

But Jeff Knight, an entomologist at the state's agriculture department, says heavy grasshopper migrations occur there every few years when there's a wet winter or spring.

"Watch for areas of blowing dust and grasshoppers which may limit visibility", it tweeted.

The NOAA notes the 5-year average precipitation has ranged from less than 9 inches in 1925-1929 to nearly 13.5 inches in 1980-1984, adding that "the early part of the 21st century has been below average".

"When I see them, it's like being in a movie".

But the beam has also become a magnet for grasshoppers, which experts say are drawn to ultraviolet light and could linger in Las Vegas for weeks.

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But the second one wasn't moving as rain normally would, she said.

He explained: 'We have records clear from the 60s of it happening, and I have seen it, at least four or five times in my 30-plus years.

In recent days, an enormous swarm of the insects has descended on the city, alarming residents and tourists alike.

If residents are anxious or want to deter the bugs, they can install amber or low-UV lights. "You'll see the most under bright white lights at night". The bugs won't hurt people, though.

Knight said the grasshoppers pose no danger as they don't carry disease, don't bite, and probably won't damage anybody's property by the time they are gone. Just in the last few years we're had ladybugs, butterflies, and even flying ants flying in such numbers that the weather radars pick them up.

"There is really no point in spraying your house because they won't be around long enough", Knight said.

  • Sonia Alvarado