Mormon crickets reported early this year in northern Nevada


RENO, Nev. (AP) — Mormon crickets, the grasshopper-like insects that pose threats to crops and drivers are hatching early this year in northern Nevada.

KRVN-TV reports that the Nevada Department of Agriculture has confirmed some of the earliest hatchings of Mormon crickets in years, with the first reported Feb. 22 in Winnemucca, which is 148 miles (238 kilometers) northeast of Reno.

Mormon crickets pose a safety threat to drivers because they get squished and make roads slick. “”We’ve had accidents reported,” said Jeff Knight, entomologist with the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

Off the roads, outbreak levels of Mormon crickets can devastate farmers’ crops.

Knight recommends that home owners put up a fence that guides crickets around a home.

The crickets are named after Mormon pioneers whose forage and grain fields were devoured by the insects.

The crickets turn up in numerous states across the West, including Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Oregon.