Things are getting really buggy at Burning Man

If you’re heading to Burning Man in a couple of weeks, you’re probably already mentally preparing for the toll the elements are going to take on your body. Preparing yourself for the onslaught of people, the port-o-potties, the lack of sleep and the sand. So much sand. But now there’s one more thing to add to the list — bugs. . . and lots of them.

The Black Rock Desert in Nevada is the site of Burning Man from August 30-September 7, and according to the people who are already there setting up, there’s a major infestation of tiny bugs — but not simply bugs who just exist and mind their own business. . . relentless biting bugs.

Blogger  posted a bug update on the Burning Man blog, and it doesn’t sound good. “You may have seen the bug rumors on the internet,” he wrote. “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.”

But where did these bugs come from, and why is this the first year they’re around?

“What’s going on?” Curley wrote. “We don’t know. We don’t know how the little critters survive in the heat and the sun. All we know is that if you pick up some wood, you’re likely to uncover hundreds or thousands of the things. They’ve blown up inches deep against the sides of the Commissary tent. They’ve covered the carpets at the Depot. They’re all over the Man Base. So it’s not a localized occurrence, it’s everywhere.”

People are reporting that the bites from the bugs are leaving welts all over their bodies. They’re even getting into their mouths and getting lodged in teeth.

It’s unclear where the bugs came from, but three theories are circulating the Internet: The rain that fell in the spring and summer hatched tiny bugs that usually come to life at different times each year, but typically lie dormant during the week of Burning Man. Or it’s possible the bugs were introduced to the area after they strolled in on a load of wood from somewhere. Or maybe, but probably not likely, the Grinch of Burning Man is secretly sprinkling bugs all over the long seven mile stretch of Burning Man.

We know that, for some, Burning Man is a completely life-changing event, but bugs that “get up and in you”? No, thanks. In a meeting, the “Cobra Commander” said that the hope is for high temperatures and the dry heat to kill the majority of the bugs by the time the festival kicks off, “because otherwise we’re gonna have to nuke the city”.

We think that’s a joke. But maybe not. For those of you heading to Burning Man — Godspeed.

(Featured images via Tristar)