Sometimes all you need is a wild weekend in Las Vegas, amongst the lights, sounds, and attractions of the Sin City.
And it seems like grasshoppers are no exception, descending on Las Vegas last week in such numbers that you can even see them on the weather radar.
🤓 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 images from the ground are just as intense – flocks of grasshoppers congregating near the many lights and neon signs in Vegas would make anyone think twice before going and hitting the slot machines.
John took this video outside the flamingo just now. It’s not snowing. It’s grasshoppers. #lasvegas #GRASSHOPPERS pic.twitter.com/HvF6AZGfjQ
— Nancy Ryan (@NancyRyanComic) July 26, 2019
But breathe easy, these aren’t locusts and this isn’t the second coming. Instead there’s a perfectly scientific explanation for this bizarre phenomenon: rain.
Nevada has already had much more rain in 2019 than in an average year, making for an especially great season for the pallid-winged grasshopper (Trimerotropis pallidipennis).
They’re native to the desert regions across America, and this isn’t the first time we’re seen them explode in numbers.
Just insane – @FOX5Vegas @8NewsNow @News3LV @KTNV @VitalVegas @themelissavegas @LasVegasLocally @VegasLifeBaby @VGKim75 @WinstonDaDoodle @BarkAndreFurry pic.twitter.com/WhjGEbbSPU
— 365 in Vegas (@365inVegas) July 26, 2019
“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,” Jeff Knight, state entomologist with the Nevada Department of Agriculture, told CNN.
“There are some special weather conditions that trigger the migration.”
This is also not the first time that animal swarms have been caught on weather radars. Just in the last few years we’re had ladybugs, butterflies, and even flying ants flying in such numbers that the weather radars pick them up. And yes, in all of those cases the areas were not affected for long.
So there’s no reason to be too worried about this particular flocking event, although experts have warned the grasshopper bachelor party might last for a few more weeks yet.
Considering this particular species of grasshopper mates between 30-40 degrees Celsius (86-104 degrees Fahrenheit), they’re probably enjoying their time in Vegas just as much as the human punters.