Mormon crickets are native to the area.

"They've been around and recorded causing problems since the mid-1800's," said Jeff Knight, State Entomologist for the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

"That's where they get their name because the first documented infestations were in the Salt Lake Valley as the Mormons were settling that valley."

Through the years they've been a nuisance.
  
"They might bite but don't carry any diseases," Knight said.   "But they will get into homes and cause problems there and in gardens."

They've also been a public safety hazard.

"One big issue is on the roads," Knight said.  "Where if one gets squished, another two or three come out to eat that one they get squished and eventually 
the roads can actually get slick and we've had some accidents in the past with rainstorms coming into that situation."

Grasshoppers have also caused problems - especially to crops.
  
"The grasshopper problem isn't as bad as possibly the Mormon cricket," Knight said.  "Some we have almost every year, others are cyclic."

The Nevada Department of Agriculture can only treat public lands for the pests.  They're urging residents to be on the lookout for them in the coming months.

"People can report them to us," Knight said. " We have surveyors coming out in mid-March looking for the ones that have just hatched, but it is great if people see them.  We have a form on our website at and we will come and check it and well get someone out there in a hurry."
 
The good news with these bugs is there's only a single generation per season - it's just hard to tell how big this one will be.

"They're a big,ugly insect that people don't like and that's part of these meetings is to tell people how to protect their own property, and what they can do to manage these things if they become a problem," Knight said.

Mormon Cricket and Grasshopper Report Form:  http://agri.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/agrinvgov/Content/Resources/Forms/Plant/Entomology/mc_gh_form_2013_4.pdf