Hordes of grasshoppers descend upon Las Vegas, experts blame wet weather

Wet weather is to blame for the hordes of grasshoppers that have descended upon Las Vegas this week.

A Nevada state entomologist told the media on Thursday that the scale of adult pallid-winged grasshoppers traveling north to central Nevada is rare, but reassured that it’s not unprecedented and residents shouldn’t be concerned

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This Thursday, July 25, 2019, photo shows grasshoppers on a sidewalk outside the Las Vegas Sun offices in Henderson, Nev. A migration of mild-mannered grasshoppers sweeping through the Las Vegas area is being attributed to wet weather several months ago.

This Thursday, July 25, 2019, photo shows grasshoppers on a sidewalk outside the Las Vegas Sun offices in Henderson, Nev. A migration of mild-mannered grasshoppers sweeping through the Las Vegas area is being attributed to wet weather several months ago. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

“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,” Jeff Knight, an entomologist with the Nevada Department of Agriculture, said on Thursday.

“We'll have flights about this time of the year, migrations, and they'll move northward,” he added.

This year, the Las Vegas area recorded more rain in six months than the annual average of just under 4.2 inches per year.

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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. The insects usually attracted to ultraviolet light sources, he added, suggesting people can install low-UV lights to avoid the insects.

“They don't carry any diseases. They don't bite,” he said. “They're not even one of the species that we consider a problem. They probably won't cause much damage in the yard.”

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He added that similar insect migrations happened during his more than 30-year career at the state Department of Agriculture. The most recent similar migration occurred six or seven years ago.

“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,” Knight said. “There are some special weather conditions that trigger the migration.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.