Larry Martino

Weekdays 3:00pm - 8:00pm

A couple of weeks ago I was walking into Pepsi Ice Arena at what used to be the Fiesta Rancho, and I had to make my way through a swarm of hopping brown bugs. It’s grasshopper season in the Las Vegas Valley! Yuck!

It happens every year at this time. The weather warms up, and the bugs begin appearing everywhere you look. Grasshoppers, moths, crickets, ants, and roaches. Back in 2019, there were swarms of these brown grasshoppers invading parking lot lights all over Southern Nevada. It hasn’t been as bad this year, but there are some tough spots to get through.

Experts say the best way to keep them away from your house at night is to switch to yellow lights outdoors. According to an article written by Madison Kimbro on 8NewsNow.com, moths and other flying insects, such as the grasshopper, are attracted to ultraviolet light, which the yellow lights don’t emit.

Kimbro spoke with Allen Gibbs, a professor of life sciences at UNLV, who advised switching to yellow lights outdoors. He also assured the rest of us that many of the insects we see during the spring months here in the Las Vegas Valley head for cooler climates by the end of June. That’s when high temperatures usually hit triple digits on a daily basis.

Some bugs stick around all year. We seem to find scorpions in our house every now and then. I was once stung by one of these little buggers back in 2020. It stung me on my neck while I was sleeping, and crawled around to my armpit and stung me there, and that’s what woke me out of a deep sleep. I looked down at the bed and couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t a very big scorpion, but having never been stung by one, I kinda freaked out.

My wife took me to the emergency room and before I even took a seat, the nurse on duty asked if I was feeling nauseous, had any difficulty breathing, or had experienced any convulsions. I had not felt anything but minor pain at the locations of the bites, and a bit of numbness. She told me to go home, take some Tylenol®, and the numbness would subside within 24 hours. It did. But now, I check around my bed for those creepy crawlies before I hit the rack every night. Lesson learned.

Grossest Critters In Nevada: Welcome Warm Temps, More Bugs

It’s getting warmer in Nevada, which means you can expect a few critters to make an unwelcomed appearance.

This week, Nevada will experience warmer temperatures in high 80s. The desert heat is perfect for certain insects to thrive in. Certain insects like beetles, cockroaches, silverfish and more multiply quickly in the desert.

Insects thrive in temperatures 75 degrees and above, so the rising temperatures mean that more insects will come out. According to Channel 8, once insects, like beetles and cockroaches, come out then scorpions and spiders will start to make an appearance as well. This is because the food source for arachnids are insects like cockroaches, crane flies, gnat flies, etc.

There are a few ways to ensure that insects don’t see your house as their own. According to Dr. Death Pest Control, a local pest control company based in Henderson and Boulder City, they advise to clean your kitchen, disinfect your drains and ensure your food is stored properly. Although simple, these steps can help you avoid a gnat, cockroach, beetle or other bugs in Nevada from infesting your place.

One of the coolest and “natural” insecticides that we found when it comes to fighting off pests is Diatomaceous Earth. This is a powder-like substance that you can find at home improvement stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot or online like Amazon. It’s made out of fossilized remains of small, aquatic organisms called diatoms, and it’s a great tool to fight against bugs in Nevada.

According to the Natural Pesticide Information Center, Diatomaceous Earth products can be used against bed bugs, cockroaches, crickets, fleas, ticks, spiders and many other pests. Diatomaceous Earth destroys the exoskeleton of insects because the particles act like tiny razor blades that cut the insect’s insides. However, you need to be careful with this product because the particles can be dangerous to breathe in.

Another way to get rid of insects is to spray essential oils like clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, basil, oregano,  mint, and thyme. These oils have been found to have “a range of effects on insect eggs, larvae, nymphs and adults,” according to Entomology Today.

Also, a mixture of boric acid and sugar has been found to be a natural insecticide, too. These are ingredients that can be purchased from most grocery stores, and it’s not as harsh as Raid or other well-known insecticides.

Overall, the Nevada desert is filled with “take-your-breathe-away” creatures. Fortifying your home with an essential oil sealant across corners, under doors and in tight spaces could help battle against insects. Ensuring you don’t give insects the opportunity to live in your home in the first place will help battle the creepy crawly creatures of the desert from taking over.

If you’re interested in learning about some of the critters that call Nevada home then scroll down below!

  • Mojave Green Rattlesnake

    Mojave Rattlesnake

    Extremely venomous and packs a painful bite, the Mojave Green is a snake that you don’t want to mess with. You can find this snake across the high desert or low valley areas of the Mojave. There are a few at Red Rock Canyon, but the sighting for this snake have been pretty low. If you do ever encounter this snake then be sure to stay away at least 10 feet from the snake.

  • Cockroaches

    Cockroach

    In Las Vegas, there are four main species of roaches: German, Oriental, American and Australian. They’re all equally as disgusting, and they thrive in the desert climate. These bugs carry pathogens and multiply quickly. However, roaches are hard to kill with natural DIY methods. So, if you have a problem at your house then it’s probably best to call a professional exterminator. 

  • Black Widow Spiders

    Black Widow

    This is a spider that should strike a little fear in your heart if you see it hanging in your home. Although it’s poisonous, these spiders rarely bite if unprovoked.

  • Silverfish

    Silverfish

    These little gross bugs are usually found throughout buildings that uses cardboard boxes or has a great deal of moisture. These translucent-like bugs enjoy dark, damp environments. If you see one then that usually means there are hundreds. These bugs don’t have as much of a chance to spread pathogens or germs like roaches. They do, however, have the ability to chew tiny holes through clothes, upholstery, etc. And they can trigger allergies among people.

     

  • Scorpions

    Scorpions

    When you think of desert insects, you need to think about scorpions. Due to this arachnid feeding off of insects like roaches, ants, etc. Our homes in Nevada have become perfect places where a scorpion can lie low in while waiting for its next meal. They like to hide in dark damp places like shoes. So, be sure to check your shoes if you store them in the closet or outside. They’re pretty docile creatures as long as you don’t provoke them.

  • Cactus Longhorn Beetles

    Cactus Long Horned Beetle

    A truly remarkable specimen, these long horn beetles are found throughout the deserts in Nevada, California and Mexico. They don’t fly, and they feed on cacti.

  • Wild Silk Moths

     silkworm butterfly

    This beautiful moth is hauntingly beautiful. The larvae feed on horsebrush, Fremont’s Dalea, and desert almond plants. While the adults don’t feed at all. These insects are not known to cause any property damage or other types of nuances. 

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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.

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