Bugs may be the newest unwanted group at this year's Burning Man.
After Burning Man blogger John Curley wrote that the winged creatures are in biting abundance this year in Gerlach, Nevada, near the stretch of desert that becomes Black Rock City from Aug. 30 to Sept. 7, social media started buzzing with photos of insects taking over the playa.
Jim Graham with Burning Man's communication team told NBC Bay Area that the organization is monitoring the situation. "The problem is worse than past years," Graham said. "We will notify participants of any concerns next week before everyone begins traveling to the event. Burning Man is an extreme environment which, for many, is part of the allure. Last year we had rain storms. In past years we've had extreme heat and cold and white outs."
The official Burning Man blog even put out a post Thursday, which said that "despite the rampant rumors, these bugs are more of a mild nuisance than a full-blown infestation."
Despite the assurance, memes such as "welcome to Bug Rock City," #BurningBugs, "getting buggy with it," are spreading fast on the internet.
"We now have bug city," The Black Rock City Playa Info Facebook page wrote on a post that showed a scary-looking cluster of insects. Another photo showed bugs huddled around a tire.
Curley said that the region's intermittent light rain throughout spring and summer has brought the bugs into the area.
"There are lots of bugs around, including mosquitoes. You couldn’t stand outside in Gerlach as the sun went down without getting bitten to death. We’re not sure yet how bad it will be out on the playa, but be smart and pack some lavender oil or bug spray or whatever you use."
This year's tickets sold out in approximately 80 minutes.[[322287992, C]]