Swarms of grasshoppers have descended on southern Nevada and are expected to remain in the area for weeks, experts said.
The large gatherings of pallid-winged grasshoppers have been seen huddling around streetlights throughout the Las Vegas Valley as they take part in northern migration.
“When we have wet winter or spring, these things build up often down below Laughlin and even into Arizona,” Nevada Department of Agriculture entomologist Jeff Knight said. “They’ll move northward and they’ll often move as far north as central Nevada.”
Although the insects are not dangerous, the swarms have upset tourists traveling in popular locations along the Las Vegas Strip.
The Best Western Plus Casino Royale on the Strip has shut off its lights for two evenings in hopes of stopping the grasshoppers from congregating outside.
The swarms are so large, that they have turned up on the National Weather Service’s radar as rainstorms.
“Some of you have been asking about the widespread radar returns the past few nights in Vegas,” the NWS Las Vegas Twitter account wrote. “Radar analysis suggests most of these echoes are biological targets. This typically includes birds, bats and bugs and most likely in our case grasshoppers.”
Knight said the insects are expected to remain in the area for several weeks at most.
“They’re moving through,” he said. “They come in, settle in and then at night they take off and fly and they can fly fair distances.”
He added it’s likely not worth the effort for the state to combat the swarm.
“You may be able to do something about the ones that are there, but they’re just going to be back tomorrow night,” Knight said.
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