Subject: Weird bug migration
Geographic location of the bug: Toiyabe national forest
Time: 12:54 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I was driving my big rig through Nevada when i saw hundreds of these guys all over the road and dirt. I’m curious as to what they’re doing? Are they actually migrating?
How you want your letter signed: Curious trucker
Dear Curious trucker,
This is a Mormon Cricket, a species found in the western states and there are periodic population explosions. According to KTVN.com in an updated July 2, 2018 post: “Mormon crickets are back for another summer, creating nuisances for some Nevadans. The Nevada Department of Agriculture says the Mormon cricket population is not expected to be too high, this year, but they are seeing infestations in northern Pershing County and southern Humboldt County, in rural areas around Winnemucca. … Mormon crickets can travel about a mile each day. They do not fly but they do climb. They do not bite, carry disease or pose a threat to animals that eat them. They do present some public safety issues on roads though. ‘They’re cannibalistic, so if one gets squished, the others come and eat it and they get squished,’ Jeff Knight, State Entomologist for the NDA said. ‘There’s been reports that that alone can make the roads slick but if that happens and then we have a thunder shower, then the roads can get really slick from the dead crickets.’ … ‘They develop in high numbers, usually in the foothills and in the mountain areas, and then they move down in large numbers, often into the valley floor,’ Knight said. Knight says the largest infestations usually happen about once every 10 years.”