Saturday, September 30, 2023


RVers’ guide to surviving a Mormon cricket invasion

You have probably read the headlines concerning the Mormon crickets overwhelming sections of eastern Nevada. They are invading buildings, covering roads to the point where snowplows have been dispatched, devouring vegetation and, worst of all, they smell.

Morman Crickets
Swarm of Mormon crickets.

If you have missed the headlines, here are a just a few to bring you up to date:

My wife and I can relate as we have firsthand experience RVing through swarming Mormon crickets. We found ourselves in the middle of such an invasion many years ago in eastern Nevada. Here is what we learned.

6 steps to surviving a Mormon cricket invasion in an RV

  • Ignore the sounds. The snap, crackle, pop you hear as you drive down the roads ain’t Rice Krispies! It’s the sound of thousands of crickets exploding under your RV tires.
  • The Mormon crickets literally devour everything, including their squished comrades on the road. This leads to more squished crickets as they stop to eat their fallen brothers, leading to slick roads. Beware and slow down as this leads to potential loss of steering and reduced braking distances.
  • Leave your windows up and recirculate cabin air. While at first we thought it was entertaining hearing the crickets pop as we crushed them with our RV tires, after a few miles it became less entertaining and then we experienced the stench of the crushed crickets baking on the hot Nevada asphalt. Windows were closed and cabin air recirculated to avoid the noise and stench!
  • Be prepared to be creeped out! For me, Nevada is all about abandoned places. Ghost towns, old mining camps, Pony Express stations and more. Of course, one of our exploration stops was in the path of the invasion. Upon getting out and walking through the Nevada scrub, the sound of the crickets crunching and munching as they devoured everything in sight was rather unnerving.

    We’re doomed 

    I quickly had visions of being in an end-of-the-earth Sci-Fi movie. Once the vegetation was depleted we would be next! Needless to say, we didn’t stay as long as we would have typically when exploring an abandoned place. Also, if you find yourself on foot, like we did, watch your step!

Morman crickets on the ground.
Crickets on the road to the ghost town we explored. Photo: Dave Helgeson
  • Keep driving until you are beyond the boundaries of the Mormon cricket plague. You don’t want to camp where crickets are marauding through your campsite day and night. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to take a dog for a walk in a cricket-infested campground or RV park.
  • Wash the dead crickets off your RV as soon as possible. Not only is the stench unbearable, but the cricket parts also attract other insects, including yellow jackets. You will also want to get the slime of cricket guts and body parts off before they become permanently encrusted. Even though the RV park where we ended our day’s travels prohibited washing of vehicles, I washed off the apocalyptic mess before it set.

There you have it, the 6 steps for surviving a Nevada cricket invasion while RVing. May your travels be safe and Mormon cricket free!

Dave will be speaking at the 2023 America’s Largest RV Show in Hershey, PA, September 13th – 17th. He would love to meet readers that are attending. Feel free to introduce yourself after one of his seminars.


Dave Helgeson
Dave Helgeson
Dave Helgeson has been around travel trailers his entire life. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership long before the term “RV” had been coined. He has served in every position of an RV dealership with the exception of bookkeeping. Dave served as President of a local chapter of the RVDA (Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association), was on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college and was a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. He and his wife Cheri operated their own RV dealership for many years and for the past 29 years have managed RV shows. Dave presents seminars at RV shows across the country and was referred to as "The foremost expert on boondocking" by the late Gary Bunzer, "The RV Doctor". Dave and his wife are currently on their fifth travel trailer with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications on his own unit.


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Bill L
2 months ago

We have found ourselves traversing northern Nevada several times over the years heading back to Oregon from our Snowbird spot outside Quartzsite. We have passed through the Mormon Cricket invasions on two occasions and can attest what a da*n mess they are! Even though I quickly and carefully washed our rig and toad immediately afterwards, the remnants remain years later up in the nooks and crannies between compartments, under the rig, etc.

This year, we specifically changed our route to take us much farther west to avoid the areas where we had encountered them in the past. Based on the media’s coverage from this years invasion, that was a very wise move!

2 months ago

While staying in a campground in Lake George, NY year ago, we had an invasion of gypsy moth caterpillars. One entire hillside had trees eaten bare, probably 4-5 acres in area. The county had the “RED BARON” do a spray early one morning. We were warned not to venture outside for an hour after he was done.The caterpillars were now laying dead everywhere. The campground owners used leaf blowers to blow them into piles and rake them into bags.They had a dump truck full of the bags.
From what I heard, the infestation covered most of Warren County.

2 months ago

A number of years ago, while traveling thru Georgia, in the evening at dark, the road was covered like this with frogs or toads. The squishing under the tires was unnerving.

2 months ago
2 months ago

Your cricket invasion sounds an awful (heavy on awful) lot like the annual “Love Bug” invasion in Florida and Southeast. All of your suggestions apply.

Tommy Molnar
2 months ago

We feel SO lucky that this hasn’t spread to our part of Nevada – YET. Even our ever-ready Bug-A-Salt is of no use with these monsters.

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