As quickly as they arrived, the Mormon crickets have departed.
"They're all gone. They just left. They traveled," said Alicia Price, who faces having to repaint her house to repair ugly marks the insects left on the paint.The crickets descended last month, blanketing about 150,000 acres near here and another 150,000 acres northwest of Winnemucca. But they don't like the current spell of unseasonably warm weather any more than humans do, so they've gone.
The crickets, which actually are grasshoppers, can grow up to 3 inches in length and eat anything in their way, including each other. They can inflict a nasty bite, and they leave unsightly stains when they leave.
Those stains are probably what are requiring Price to paint her house, according to George Nash of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
But despite their voracious appetites, he said reports of them eating paint off houses is mythology. He said they are attracted to houses to either cool off or to get warm.