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a Mormon cricket crosses Pyramid Highway north of Sparks, Nevada.

Video. WATCH: Nevada confronts invasion of blood-red crickets

For weeks, the red critters known as Mormon crickets have been invading swaths of northern Nevada. 

For weeks, the red critters known as Mormon crickets have been invading swaths of northern Nevada. 

They're causing chaos ever since tens of thousands of eggs buried about an inch deep in the soil began to hatch in late May and early June, Jeff Knight, the state's longtime entomologist, said.

Elko has been hit hard by the invasion of cannibalistic critters. They won't stay long, Knight added, but frustrated residents can't wait to see their new neighbours pack up and leave.

State officials have erected signs throughout Elko County warning drivers of slick highways, a popular hangout spot for insects that won't think twice about eating their dead friends.

Outbreaks of Mormon crickets, which are native to the Great Basin and Intermountain West, have been recorded throughout history across the West - from Nevada and Montana to Idaho, Utah and Oregon. Knight said there are records of infestations dating to the 1930s.

The invasion in Elko this year isn’t unprecedented for its size but for its timing.

Knight said the crickets hatched far later than their usual springtime birth, delayed by an especially-wet spring and snow-packed winter in northern Nevada.

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