MURPHY, Idaho - An unwanted seasonal visitor is back in Southwest Idaho. The town of Murphy is being overrun by Mormon crickets.
On Wednesday, a KTVB crew in town for another story spotted the swarming insects crawling all over the exterior walls of the Owyhee County Courthouse.
Deputy clerk Lena Johnson says the crickets are making the walk into into and out of her office a little more difficult.
"They're creepy, and I don't want them touching me, so I put on rain boots, carry an umbrella and a broom as defense," Johnson said. "This year is the first year that they have come into the town of Murphy to this magnitude, which in the last couple of days has been more than we see today."
Johnson says she's been told to expect the crickets to stick around for a couple more weeks; the females die after laying their eggs.
Another resident told our crew that the crickets have been spotted in areas outside of town as well.
Mormon crickets in Murphy
In addition to being pests, the large, migrating insects are also known to cause traffic hazards when they blanket entire sections of highways, creating slick conditions for drivers.
The Mormon cricket is actually a shield-backed katydid, according to pest management experts at Washington State University.
The large, migrating insects got the "Mormon cricket" moniker after they invaded the crops of Mormon settlers in the Salt Lake area in the 19th century.