Millions of huge insects are causing chaos in Nevada. They’ve inspired a whole festival

Foul-smelling Mormon crickets blanket the ground in parts of Nevada, an infestation many locals are not excited to experience again.

But some, however, are using it as an excuse to party.

Pictures from the northern part of the state show roads undulating with brown insects. In Eureka County, the sheriff’s office said that squished cricket guts mixed with rain caused traffic accidents on the interstate.

Locals in Elko are using leaf blowers to move the crickets away from their front doors, according to ABC4. Others use brooms to sweep their way to their cars.

Named after its shenanigans in Utah farming country, the Mormon cricket isn’t a traditional cricket, but a 2-inch ground dweller that looks like a fat grasshopper, the University of Nevada says. The Mormon cricket wave has hit Nevada a few years in a row now, reports KSL.

According to the university, periods of drought are what causes these infestations.

Whether it’s the bugs’ stench, their staggering numbers, or both, their presence is a deterrent for many Nevadans.

“It impacts businesses, it makes it so that people don’t want to go out,” Cynthia Shedd told ABC4.

Watching people hide at home due to the insects gave Shedd and her twin sister, Katherine Kelly, an idea to boost morale.

Together the duo put together a cricket-themed community event dubbed “CricketCon.”

But initial reactions to the festival were mixed.

“Seriously?” a person wrote under the organizers’ first Facebook announcement.

“Just like the armpit festival,” another one wrote.

Despite trepidation from some, a roster of local vendors and nonprofits got involved. On Friday, June 14, CricketCon was in session, jam-packed with activities, cricket-themed snacks, cricket-inspired headbands and a celebrity cricket-eating spectacle where the person who raised the most money for charity ate one food-grade cricket in front of a gleeful crowd.

“We had such a hoppin’ time with all you amazing people! Thank you to all the amazing people who helped,” CricketCon’s event page reads.

“CricketCon was a blast, I hope we can do it all again next year,” an attendee wrote.

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