Mormon Crickets Are Causing Crashes in Nevada

Slippery remains of squashed insects blamed for multiple crashes on interstate
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2024 4:09 PM CDT
Mormon Crickets Are Making Things Messy in Nevada
Mormon crickets make their way over a barrier during the migration of Mormon crickets, Friday, June 16, 2023, in Spring Creek, Nevada.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

In Nevada, Mormon crickets are back—and in some areas, they're making things extremely messy. The Eureka County Sheriff's Office has warned drivers to beware of "Mormon cricket sludge" on the roads, NBC News reports. In a Facebook post, the sheriff's office said the slippery remains of insects run over by vehicles caused several crashes on Interstate 80 over the weekend. The combination of smashed Mormon crickets and rain makes roadways "EXTREMELY slick and unpredictable for stopping distance," the sheriff's office said.

During the insects' migration last year, road crews in Elko, Nevada had to use plows to clear the roads of squashed Mormon crickets, which gave off a stench described as "like fish or dog feces." Last week, an elementary school in Sparks, Nevada, had to cancel outdoor activities after it was inundated with the insects. Teacher Sybella Pope-Sears told News 4 it looked like the lawn was moving. KLAS notes that despite the name, Mormon crickets are a species of katydid that "resembles fat grasshoppers that can't fly and can be up to two inches long." (More Mormon crickets stories.)

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