Every once in a while, a residential area in Arizona is invaded by insect pests. For example, Bullhead City saw repeat black fly invasions which terrorized residents for months, and last November saw another fly invasion in a West Valley neighborhood of Maricopa County. This fly invasion perplexed residents, as nobody was able to pinpoint the source of all the fly pests. Eventually, residents and local pest control experts blamed the massive amounts of manure that had been laid on farmland near the residential area for the long-lasting fly invasion. This year residents of Page are experiencing a citywide invasion of numerous strange-looking insect pests that many residents had never seen before. Residents are thirsty for an explanation for the bug invasion, but experts can only theorize as to the causes.
A couple of weeks ago, residents of Page began to notice many different insects crawling and flying into their yards. Some of the invading insects include grasshoppers, gnats, false chinch bugs and green stink bugs. Experts are stating that the abundance of insects in the city is due to the previous wet winter and spring seasons in Page during the spring and early summer, as well as many other factors. According to Bill Hetborne, an associate biology professor at Southern Utah University, the wet weather coupled with a mild early summer kept insect eggs dormant underground, but when the weather suddenly became hot, all the insect eggs and larvae that had been collecting in the city erupted like a volcano, bringing massive amounts of bugs into people’s yards and houses. The grasshopper abundance in Page could partly originate from the ongoing grasshopper migration through nearby Las Vegas. The grasshoppers in Page are of many different species, including common field crickets, and odd-looking pallid-winged grasshoppers. In other areas, large swarms of Mormon crickets have also been spotted. Luckily, most of the insects are harmless to humans.
Have you ever lived in a city or town where residents became concerned with an insect invasion?