Eew! The Mormon crickets are back

Mormon cricket
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June 15, 2023 — Elko, Nevada is currently facing infestations of Mormon crickets that hatched early.

According to Utah’s KSL TV 5, six counties in Nevada have been invaded by millions of the insects, citing a colorful quote from an Elko resident who said, ““They’re just gross. They look like spiders, and they poop everywhere.”


NewsweekOpens in a new tab. reports that “The Mormon crickets usually stay in one location for three to four days and crawl to their next area, as they’re flightless insects. It’s thought that they can travel between 25 and 50 miles per season, doing up to one mile a day.”

@auntie_cooletteOpens in a new tab.♬ original sound – Colette Reynolds


Is Utah next?

In 2021, Utah experienced an infestation of grasshoppers and Mormon crickets because of the drought, causing agricultural damage. The hope is that since the crickets do better in drought years, Utah’s cool, wet spring will stop them. Utah Public RadioOpens in a new tab. reports that only a few small infestations have been reported so far this year, meaning that Utah might face the same issues as Nevada. UPR says that farmers who do experience infestation issues are still encouraged to call the Department of Agriculture. According to USU Extension, an infestation is when there are at least eight crickets per square yard of land.

The Salt Lake City WeeklyOpens in a new tab. coyly suggests that if you can’t beat them, maybe you should eat them. Babs Delay writes, “Native Americans long valued these ugly bugs for their nutritional value, herding them to gather, roast and grind into a flour of sorts, making edible cakes that pioneers called ‘desert fruitcakes.'”

Environmental Impact in New Mexico.

Meanwhile in New Mexico, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection ServiceOpens in a new tab. (APHIS) completed Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and Decisions for the environmental assessment (EA) to control grasshoppers and Mormon crickets in parts of New Mexico.

Based on the analysis contained in the EA and the comments received during the public comment period, APHIS has decided to implement the Proposed Action as described in the EA and concluded that it will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. The FONSI/Decision was signed June 2, 2023, and the EA was made FinalOpens in a new tab..


Anabrus simplex – Mormon Cricket, Lazarus000 (Sept. 2014), via Wikimedia Commons.


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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Ivy Batriani
Ivy Batriani
June 15, 2023 4:52 pm
Well, pass the ketchup? I think not. They are ugly little suckers and I’ve never seen or heard of them before. Interesting little insects.

What exactly does “that it will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment.” mean?

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