The usual bugbear for Las Vegas high-rollers concerns their luck at the city’s high-stakes casinos, but in the past week, their focus has turned to a scourge that’s created quite a buzz.
Or should we say, chirp.
Hordes of grasshoppers, spurred on by an exceptionally wet spring, have swarmed the Nevada capital with the number of insect invaders so extreme, they have now formed “clouds” on Las Vegas weather radars.
🤓 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 United States’ National Weather Service says unusual ‘echoes’ can sometimes be caused by a mass of biological targets, and are usually in the form of birds, bats and bugs.
Nevada state entomologist Jeff Knight says the event is not unprecedented, and indicated the mass migration of pallid-winged grasshoppers to Las Vegas can be traced back to unseasonably wet weather during the American spring.
The state has experienced twice its usual rainfall in the year to date.
Unsurprisingly, social media has been abuzz as millions of critters descended on the famed Las Vegas Strip, prompting tourists to share video of the surreal scenes.
GRASSHOPPER INVASION: Video shows just a few of the grasshoppers invading Las Vegas. Their migration can be attributed to wet weather several months ago https://t.co/uRtLGKGrpc pic.twitter.com/qeJ1WDKfNy
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) July 27, 2019
The grasshopper madness continues in Las Vegas! Check out this video of grasshoppers invading the Thomas & Mack parking lot… Who would be thrilled to walk to their car with all these grasshoppers flying everywhere? (📸: kiki_llamas/Instagram) pic.twitter.com/16cnWmd36G
— Las Vegas RJ (@reviewjournal) July 27, 2019
But unfortunately for those tourists hoping for a little peace and quiet, ultraviolet sources of light – a key feature of many of the city’s notable buildings, including the pyramid-like Luxor hotel and casino – are like a magnet for the bugs.
Mr Knight, speaking to the New York Times, says any attempts by casinos or home owners to get rid of the grasshoppers would be futile.
“You can get rid of them, but in 24 or 48 hours they’re just going to be back,” he said.