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FACT CHECK: Post of insect infestation in US, Saudi Arabia is false


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FACT CHECK: Post of insect infestation in US, Saudi Arabia is false
The post does not show locusts swarming Saudi Arabia. It also misrepresents 2023 photos of crickets and bees sweeping over parts of the US as happening recently. 

Claim: Incidents of insect infestation were recorded in early April: cockroaches in Nevada, bees in New York, and locusts in Saudi Arabia.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The April 19 post containing the claim has 845 shares, 90 comments, and 243 reactions as of writing. The post included photos showing insects swarming over city streets and building walls. 

The post bears the text: “Cockroaches invade Nevada, USA. And locusts invade Saudi Arabia in the past 48 hours. And bees invade the streets of Manhattan, New York, USA.”

The claim was also posted on X on the same day. 

The facts: None of the three incidents happened in April 2024. Two of them – the cricket infestation in Nevada and swarming of bees in New York – occurred in June 2023. 

Crickets in Nevada: In June 2023, various news outlets, including The New York Times, CBS News, and The Economic Times, reported that Mormon crickets swarmed parts of Nevada, with millions of insects covering roads, houses, and various buildings. 

A reverse image search of two of the photos included in the Facebook post revealed that they were first posted by a Facebook page named “World Forum international news” on June 11, 2023. 

According to an April 19, 2024 report, the state of Nevada said it expects an infestation of Mormon crickets this summer and is planning to conduct aerial spraying.


Bees in Manhattan: Another photo in the misleading Facebook post that shows bees swarming around a building on W-54th St. in Manhattan, New York was a screenshot from a video tweeted by ABC News on June 11, 2023.

Locusts in Saudi Arabia: None of the photos included in the post showed an invasion of locusts in Saudi Arabia. According to the latest desert locust bulletin from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations published on April 3, desert locust outbreaks along the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coast in Egypt, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Sudan decreased in March. – Ailla Dela Cruz/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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