Report: Burning Man Infested by Swarms of Bugs

Burning Man bug (BLM Nevada / Flickr / CC / Cropped)
BLM Nevada / Flickr / CC / Cropped

Tens of thousands of festival-goers could risk exposure to a bug invasion at this year’s Burning Man festival, with smelly critters delivering stinging bites.

The annual, 15-day event is slated to begin on August 30 in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

According to KQED, former San-Francisco-Chronicle-editor-turned-Burning-Man-blogger John Curley first exposed the disturbance by going to town with his brutal honesty about the bug invasion:

You may have seen the bug rumors on the [I]nternet. 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.

Two days later, Burning Man reportedly published a blog post blunting Curley’s accounts,  entitled: “Bugs on the Playa: Don’t Believe the Buzz.” In the blog, Burning Man wrote that “despite the rampant rumors, these bugs are more of a mild nuisance than a full-blown infestation that should cause any major concern.”

According to a report by Gizmodo, experts were able to identify at least two of the bug species involved, including large green stink bugs and smaller insects called seed bugs. The experts reportedly suggested there are other species as well.

The bugs do not seem to be life-threatening, even if people are stung by them.

Curley’s blog post received a slew of comments, including one from an allergy specialist who responded to a woman’s complaints that she had spent her last $1,200 on the Burning Man event and said bug bites could cause her paralysis.

As a physician with allergy specialization having paralyzing disability from insect stings is unheard of. If you used your last $1200 to come to a non-life sustaining event, I’m more concerned about your safety overall moving forward in the universe. We are guests on the playa, it’s not for us to destroy nature for our comfort…

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.