Mecca Mosque Mobbed by Locusts

 In Foreign

The Times of Israel reported that the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, has been inundated by swarms of “black grasshoppers” (locusts). The insects are migratory. The mosque is considered Islam’s holiest site and every year thousands of pilgrims visit it during the Hajj. Teams of cleaners are working to eradicate the insects.

Newsweek reports:

While potentially a major nuisance, locusts themselves are not known to carry diseases transmittable to humans, nor do they bite or sting. Hazal bin Mohammed al-Zafar, the head of Plant Protection Department at King Saud University’s Faculty of Food and Agricultural Sciences, told the local Sabq newspaper Monday that the “field cockroaches” were actually in the Gryllidae family, and actually more closely related to grasshoppers and crickets than domestic cockroaches.

Zafar told the outlet that locals should refrain from eating or selling the insects, while stressing that they “do not transmit diseases” and that swarming was a natural phenomenon, likely related to recent rains. He estimated that around 30,000 locusts had descended on Mecca, noting that larger swarms can reach into the hundreds of thousands.

The environmental sanitation teams are #امانة_العاصمة_المقدسة working on spraying black grasshoppers in the manholes and sewage inspection rooms and toilets around the squares of the holy #مكة_المكرمة #العاصمة_المقدسة Mosque.

The sound of the swarm had an eerie drone as it descended on the city. Twenty-two teams of 138 sanitation workers and 111 pieces of equipment have been working to remove the insects.

It is worth noting that some called them “black grasshoppers,” others called them “cockroaches.” In this photo, the insects are definitely grasshoppers…big ones.

Some people from Iran on Twitter called for the Saudis to repent because they believe that the plague of locusts is a sign from their god that they are evil.  There’s a lot of that evil going around.

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