Grasshoppers return to Las Vegas, but will we see an invasion like 2019?

Who can forget the 2019 grasshopper invasion?
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 8:11 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) -Who can forget the 2019 grasshopper invasion? Grasshoppers were covering gas stations, overcoming the skies, and fast forward to today, the question that everyone may have is, “Will this be a repeat of 2019?”

We have had a decent amount of rain. This year there are more plants, which means more grasshoppers.

Allen Gibbs is a professor of life science at UNLV, specializing in insects, physiology, and evolution. He says grasshoppers mean no harm, and in fact, they’re one of the more important bugs out there. He said that they are a vital part of the ecosystem.

“They are food to birds, lizards, and rodents everything eats them, so they’re really important food for a lot of other animals,” he noted.

The desert is the perfect environment for grasshoppers. They thrive in warm and sunny conditions, creating an opportunity for optimal growth and reproduction.

“Here in Las Vegas, the common species here is called the palate wing grasshopper. It likes open areas, it likes deserts,” said Gibbs.

The wet winter we’ve had is the perfect setting, but why are there so many of them all at once?

“Usually over winter it’s the egg stage, larva stage, when they come out they mate and produce offsprings, produce 100 offspring,” Gibbs said. “A month later, 100 offspring, producing 100, then up to 10,000 at that point, and in another month we’re talking millions,”

When conditions cool down, Gibbs says we’ll start seeing fewer of these critters as they begin to die off. However, don’t worry, because they’ll be back next year.