Reports have been flying in of a massive amount of bugs currently swarming the playa and Gerlach, Nevada area. As the days leading up to the Burning Man event are often filled with rumours created by internet trolls, many believe the bug reports are false or over exaggerated. However, the Voices of Burning Man Blog has officially stated the bug infestation at Burning Man 2015 is no joke.
“You may have seen the bug rumors on the internet. We are here to tell you that they are all true. Well maybe not all of the rumors, but the bugs are real. They’re everywhere. They bite. They crawl all over you. They get up and in you.”
Apparently, there has been just enough rain in the area to create a beautiful landscape of green grass around the playa. But, all that green beauty comes with the price of providing perfect homes around the playa for the uninvited insects.
So, how bad is it? Do they bite? Should burners be concerned? There has been some confirmed cases of Burning Man staff and volunteers needing medical attention due to bites.
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.
Metal Shop Heather wears a welding mask most of the day. Bugs have crawled up inside her visor and nestled around her eyes. Cammy and Stinger needed some help from the medical team to deal with the infestation; Stinger’s back was covered with nasty red welts from the bites.
— Bryan Warner (@BryanWarner775) August 19, 2015
— Quartz (@qz) August 19, 2015
Though unconfirmed, users of reddit and twitter state the infestation is a mixture of mosquitos, gnats and stink bugs. They are found swarming work lights at night and piled up all over the place.
What’s going on? We don’t know. We don’t know how the little critters survive in the heat and the sun. All we know is that if you pick up some wood, you’re likely to uncover hundreds or thousands of the things. They’ve blown up inches deep against the sides of the Commissary tent. They’ve covered the carpets at the Depot. They’re all over the Man Base. So it’s not a localized occurrence, it’s everywhere.
Prepare yourselves for swarms of mosquitos, gnats, and stink bugs. Stink bugs are not known for biting, but however will bite as a line of defence. If one is on you and becomes alarmed it could bite you. Gnats are know to bite and we all know mosquitos do too. Bug spray, bug zappers, fly swatters, after bite and antihistamines. Don’t leave out any fruit or open food packages to avoid attracting unwanted campmates and take some time to research these types of bugs on the internet. There is tons of resources with how to get rid of them, deal with different types of bites, etc.
The gates officially open on Aug 30th 2015. Thats still 11 more days burners have to wait before being welcomed home. There is a fair chance this swarm could move on or die out. Another thing to consider is bug infestations can dwindle (especially mosquitos) when there is a sudden higher population of people in the area. We experience this first hand every year at Shambhala Music Festival pre-build. The farm is always littered with biting and stinging insects that magically disappear when the festival gates open and the music starts. But, don’t rely on this! If your a true burner you will arrive prepared.
All quotes from Voices of Burning Man Blog.
— Champagne Lounge (@CLoungebrc) August 18, 2015
— Alene Vincent (@alenevince) August 19, 2015