Rabat – Videos and photos showing black crickets swarming the holy space circulated on social media since Monday night.
Viewers spread the images and videos with the hashtag #crickets (in Arabic) on Twitter, expressing disgust at the sight of crickets clinging to pilgrims’ outfits and covering the walls and floors of mosque, and they demand an explanation as to where the invasive insects came from.
The Emirate Of Makkah Province released a statement on Twitter, announcing that 22 teams of 138 members were mobilized to exterminate the insects, “bearing in mind the safety and comfort of pilgrims.”
The same source noted that the teams were quick to handle the situation, focusing on rain gutters and open water drains in the area as they were likely sources of the insects.
The incident is reminiscent of strong storm that swept Mecca last August causing slight damage to nearby tents of pilgrims and removing the “Kiswa,” the embroidered cloth covering the Kaaba, cube-shaped building at the center of the mosque.