Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Grasshopper Survey Shows Increased Numbers for 2010

A federal survey of 17 states taken last fall reveals critically high numbers of grasshoppers across the West, which could devastate millions of acres of crops and grazing land. Affected areas include Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska.

The Idaho Department of Agriculture (ISDA) has purchased 200,000 pounds of grasshopper bait for the 2010 season. ISDA and The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) rely on farmers and ranchers to report locations of grasshopper infestations.

Be Vigilant

Start to look for the first grasshoppers to hatch in mid spring. The warmer and drier the spring the earlier hatching will occur and the better the nymphs will thrive. Often times a late spring freeze will disrupt the cycle, killing the young hoppers. An early spring followed by cloudy, damp weather encourages diseases that sicken and kill them. Long hot summers provide a bountiful food supply for grasshoppers. This encourages early maturing of grasshoppers and an extended long egg-laying period. Cool summers and early fall conditions slow down grasshopper maturity resulting in a reduced time period for laying eggs.

Grasshopper Facts

Adult grasshoppers can fly miles in search of food.
They can eat half their body weight in foliage each day.
If foliage is not available, they will eat wood and paint.
Some hot spots can hold 1,000 baby grasshoppers per square yard.

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