Saudi Arabia's Grand Mosque - aka the holiest site in Islam - has been attacked by a swarm of insects dubbed "night cockroaches."

Identified as belonging to the Gryllidae family, the black grasshoppers occupied the sacred city of Mecca, targeting "breeding and gathering sites" including water drains, according to NewsweekThe municipality said it was "harnessing all the efforts, capabilities and possibilities available to eliminate these insects in the interest of the safety of guests of the sacred house of God."

Soon after the attack, images and videos of the incident took social media by storm. 

According to Hazal bin Mohammed al-Zafar, head of the Plant Protection Department at King Saud University's Faculty of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the insects are more related to grasshoppers than cockroaches.

Al-Zafar also reassured the public that the insects "do not transmit diseases" and believed they descended as a consequence of recent rains. 

He estimated that 30,000 locusts had occupied the area.

The municipality has since dispatched "22 teams consisting of 138 individuals and 111 devices to combat the swarm."

"God protect the holy site from all evil"

The insects surrounded the lights, walls, and floors