Burning Man organizers have revealed that the yearly desert arts festival has a problem with bugs. The organizers said that Black Rock City, the site of the week-long event located outside of Gerlach, Nevada, is being overrun by swarms of bugs covering equipment and even people who prepare for the event, which set to begin next week.
In a blog post, the organizers confirmed that the rumors spreading on the internet about the bugs are real and that these are found everywhere biting and crawling. People currently at the site also reported that the bugs swarm together and have very strong aroma.
"They're everywhere. They bite. They crawl all over you. They get up and in you," the blog post reads. "Twin Peaks, who's leading the construction of the Center Café, was talking about how bad they are when she jumped a little and pulled her t-shirt away from her body. A good-sized green bug fell to the ground. It had crawled into her bra."
Pictures of preparations for the festival, which attracts thousands of revelers annually and is marked by a policy of banning cash transactions and effigy burning on the last night, showed large green bugs covering tire wheels. Pictures of insects swarming carpets have also emerged.
Experts said that the big green bugs are likely stink bugs that belong to the Pentatomidae family. The bugs are actually common the U.S. and are known to produce strong odor when they are disturbed. Some people compare the smell to a coriander.
The insects are also attracted to light, which is not a very good thing for those attending the event that is famous for amazing light displays.
As for the insects seen swarming on carpets, experts said that they are likely Nysius, or seed bugs. The bugs have not also been seen before but experts explained that in some years, Nysius go though huge population explosion, which is often caused by outbreaks of weeds.
Karl Magnacca, an entomologist from the University of Hawaii, believes that there are two species of insects at the festival site, with the other one belonging to the family Miridae, which produces unpleasant smell. They also tend to poke their proboscises into the skin, which hurts.
Organizers think that the bugs, which appear to have emerged out of nowhere, may have hitchhiked on some woods from somewhere or the rain may have helped hatch the critters that lie dormant.