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Makkah clears up swarms of black crickets at the Grand Mosque, across the city

Makkah clears up swarms of black crickets at the Grand Mosque, across the city

The insects were seen covering the walls and floor of the mosque

Swarms of black crickets that covered the Grand Mosque in Saudi’s Makkah and also spread to other parts of the city were cleared up following heavy fumigation, officials have said.

In a statement on Twitter, the Makkah municipality said that over 130 members had been mobilised to exterminate the insects.

“We are focusing on the areas of reproduction and breeding of insects, sewers, and open water source around the yards of the Holy Mosque and in all toilet scarred in the yards of the mosque,” it said.

It also released pictures of workers fumigating the Grand Mosque as well as water drains in streets across the city.

Images and videos of the crickets were circulated earlier this week on social media, with the insects seen covering the walls and floors of mosque.

“On Saturday night I was praying at the Holy Mosque and the insects were everywhere, the mosque was drawing them in, not only in the yards, but even around the Kaaba,” Abdulwhab Soror, 64, told The National.

“I’ve been living in Makkah my whole life and I’ve never witnessed something like this before,” he added.

Jacky Judas, manager and scientific adviser of terrestrial biodiversity at the WWF and Emirates Nature, also told the paper that it was surprising to see the insects in such large numbers.

“It could be an incident where one captive breeding has escaped and spread in big numbers, otherwise maybe there has been specific conditions that favour their development and breeding,” he said. “But I don’t know what that would be.”

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