Organizers of the Burning Man event held in the Nevada desert have been keeping folks up to date with the bug problem. These swarms of bugs are saturating the grounds of the make-shift city that is being built ahead of the expected 70,000 attendees.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, experts are saying that all these bugs could attract bats. Some have already been seen flying overhead in the area that the Burning Man festival will call home from August 30 to September 7.
The folks continue fighting off the bugs while setting up the Burning Man event in Black Rock City, which is what the temporary city is called for the partygoers during the week-long festivities. The bugs aren’t just offering aggravation while in the air, these critters bite, report the many bloggers sending news via the Internet.
One woman had bugs settle inside her bra and a story of a swarm of these bugs infiltrating a welding mask shows just how relentless these bugs can be, according to News Oxy on August 23. After images of the bugs were circulating online for a couple of days, images of bats flying around were captured. This is not of any surprise to Jeff Knight, who is the expert who originally identified the few different types of bugs invading Burning Man from images posted online.
The identified bugs have lengthy scientific names, but he said that one of the types of bugs seen in the images appear to be what is commonly known as a stink bug. They are the bigger bugs seen covering anything that is standing still long enough. The small, flying insects are probably seed bugs, Knight said earlier in the week. He would be the one to know as Knight is state entomologist for the Nevada Department of Agriculture, according to USA Today.
Knight was also the expert who explained why the bugs are swarming this year, but not in previous years. He believes this is weather related. He said the heavy rains that soaked the area recently brought out the bugs lying dormant in the desert heat. They are feasting on the plant life that is also teeming right now thanks to the rain.
The bugs are most likely concentrated in the Burning Man event area because the night lights, which are the only lights for miles around in the vast desert, act like an invitation to the bugs. Bugs are attracted to lights and the experts often use lights when wanting to catch the bugs to study. They congregate at the lights, so the area is overrun with bugs.
Now that the bugs are plentiful, this acts like an invitation to their predators to show up for dinner. So there’s a chance you will see both bugs and bats swarming to the area. According to reports, some bats have already trickled in. But with the bugs being this plentiful, Burning Man could have a bat problem next.
According to DB Techno, Burning Man’s organizer, John Curley, wrote on the festival’s official blog:
“You may have seen the bug rumors on the internet. We are here to tell you that they are all true. Well maybe not all of the rumors, but the bugs are real. They’re everywhere. They bite. They crawl all over you. They get up and in you.“
He also wrote, “We don’t know how the little critters survive in the heat and the sun. All we know is that if you pick up some wood, you’re likely to uncover hundreds or thousands of the things. They’ve blown up inches deep against the sides of the Commissary tent. They’ve covered the carpets at the Depot. They’re all over the Man Base. So it’s not a localized occurrence, it’s everywhere.”