While other families were stocking up on picnic supplies for the holiday weekend ahead....Julia Beard is preparing to do battle. Julia Beard, a Warm Springs Valley Resident, says they invaded it's and now its war.
The enemy is Anabrus Simplex. The Mormon cricket, actually not a cricket at all, more closely related to the grasshopper or katydid. Whatever name he is a periodic plague of sorts in northern Nevada our version of the locust swarm or army ant. Julia is new to our area. She'd heard of Mormon crickets before
But the sight of them advancing on her home was an unpleasant surprise. She took this home video so she could show the folks back home in Tennessee, she wasn't exaggerating.
Jeff Knight the State Entymologist says it poses no health threat.
That's not to say they are harmless.....at least to crops and landscaping.
They will eat almost anything....including each other.
That's why the state will spray a half million acres of infested land this year. That will hardly eliminate the cricket. Here off Winnemucca road....the population is down...dead crickets outnumber live following the state's efforts....but there are survivors. And they will be back. No one knows when or in what strength.
They don't appear in these numbers every year. In fact it seems to run in cycles. So, Julia Beard and others battling the crickets this year can only hope and wait for a respite...and maybe take cold comfort in the knowledge....that a few years ago it was much worse.