Mormon Crickets Continue March Across Nevada

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - A creepy, cannibalistic bug that infested much of Nevada nine years ago may be making another drought-related assault on the state.

Experts are finding Mormon crickets marching through the desert east of Empire about 100 miles north of Reno. And while they're not causing any problems yet, officials are paying attention.

Nevada state entomologist Jeff Knight tells the Reno Gazette-Journal they are seeing many more of the insects than they have over the last several years.

Drought conditions helped drive a major Mormon cricket infestation that lasted from about 2000 to 2008, peaking in 2005 when the crickets covered about 12 million acres across the Silver State.

The insects are named after Utah's Mormon settlers whose crops were devastated by the bugs in 1848.