Ew, Burning Man Has A Tongue-Probing Bug Infestation

I’ll be straight with everyone and say that everything I know about Burning Man, I learned from Wells Tower’s 2013 GQ essay “The Old Man At Burning Man” (anthologized here). Well, Wells Tower, and now this news about a bug infestation at this year’s festival.

Apparently there are at least two species of bugs that are swarming on the playa: Green, circular-looking little dudes in the family Pentatomide, which emit a coriander-like odor when disturbed and are attracted to light; and then, perhaps more grotesque, insects in the family Nysius, which are seed bugs. Seed bugs feed on water from seeds, which is great for weed control. It’s not so great for humans, who are 60 percent water, because the Nysius bugs will probe your skin with their tongues. It feels like those bugs are biting you, but they’re not biting, they’re just penetrating you. With their proboscides.

Everyone with me: Eeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwww.

The good news is, it sounds like the seed bugs will move on soon enough – they’re not looking for blood, so once they’re done probing at Burning Man, they’ll swarm on to some place that’s got more seeds.

Anyway, Burners, you all have fun sweating and getting tongue-probed by stinky bugs! I’ll just stay chill here in the Midwest.


[Image via Gizmodo]

Send me a line at rebecca@thefrisky.com.