The “mud” of the Mormon cricket invasion causes multiple accidents in Nevada

mormon crickets They are once again creating chaos in Nevada, where authorities said they caused multiple crashes on an interstate highway over the weekend.

These pesky creatures resemble fat grasshoppers and in some parts of the western United States they have been known to appear, sometimes in massive groups that can completely cover the side of a building or an entire section of a road.

Although the Nevada Department of Agriculture says Mormon cricket populations have declined in recent years in most places in Nevada, they have remained as large as ever in two counties, Eureka and Elko. In Eureka, there were so many Mormon crickets scattered across the road that they contributed to several accidents on Saturday.

“ECSO, Eureka County Fire, Eureka County EMS, Carlin Fire, NSP, have had a busy morning responding to multiple crashes on the Interstate due to rain and mud from the Mormon Cricket,” the Eureka County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. a Facebook post, which urged people to drive carefully and included several images of an overturned car and truck after leaving the road.

When crushed, Mormon crickets leave behind a smelly “sludge” that can pose serious driving hazards by making roads “EXTREMELY slippery and unpredictable in braking distance,” the sheriff’s office said. The rainy weather created an even more dangerous situation.

Mormon cricket invasions tend to occur in the spring, when eggs laid the previous summer begin to hatch, according to a fact sheet published by the Nevada Department of Agriculture. It can be difficult to predict how large the swarm will be in any given year, officials have said, because it depends on a variety of environmental factors, including temperatures and late snowfall.

Whether they are crushed or not, large populations of Mormon crickets are a cause for concern because they can destroy crops in addition to posing a threat to drivers. In April, the state said it had submitted a proposal to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for large-scale soil treatment in certain parts of Nevada to remove them.

Mormon crickets are seen on a Nevada highway in an image posted to social media in June 2023.

Nevada Department of Transportation

Nevada has been plagued by intermittent Mormon cricket infestations since the insects invaded 10 million acres of land statewide in 2006, CBS affiliate KLAS reported.