Swarms of grasshoppers have descended upon Las Vegas, making the area look like a bug-apocalypse.
People have been posting videos of the insects invading the air over the past few days.
This phenomenon has happened before, but not very often, says Jeff Knight with the Nevada Department of Agriculture:
“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.”
It’s like a blizzard, but with grasshoppers.
The grasshoppers came out to play overnight! 🦗 Viewers sent in their video of grasshopper swarms from around the Las Vegas Valley Thursday night. Have you seen them in your neighborhood?
— FOX5 Las Vegas (@FOX5Vegas) July 26, 2019
The National Weather Service also issued a warning to residents about impaired visibility outdoors.
It seems that a particularly wet year is to blame for the swarms.
According to Knight:
“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.”
— People (@people) July 30, 2019
There are so many of these things in the air that some of them are showing up on weather radar, which reads activity on higher elevations. This is only a “small subset” though.
The National Weather Service in Las Vegas tweeted a view of the radar, saying “analysis suggests most of these echoes are biological targets.”
🤓 Some of you have been asking about the widespread radar returns the past few nights in #Vegas. Radar analysis suggests most of these echoes are biological targets. This typically includes birds, bats, and bugs, and most likely in our case–> Grasshoppers. 🦗 #VegasWeather pic.twitter.com/reQX7hJR7Y
— NWS Las Vegas (@NWSVegas) July 27, 2019
The grasshoppers are of course attracted to lights, so street lights in Vegas are bug magnets these days. Is it a biblical plague? Depends on how you look at it.
It’s really just nature.
“We’ll have flights [of grasshoppers] about this time of the year, migrations, and they’ll move northward,” says Knight.
Uhhh. Las Vegas—meet biblical plague*
*(or filiming a sequel to Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia?)
Millions of grasshoppers are now attacking Las Vegas lights pic.twitter.com/yQHkZbxRja
— Josh Wolfe (@wolfejosh) July 28, 2019