annoying creatures aren't going away any time soon
No locusts, at least not yet, and the firstborn are doing fine, but you can excuse Texas ranchers if they are beginning to feel like they're in the middle of the Biblical plagues described in the Book of Exodus, 1200 WOAI news reports.
First, devastating drought, and now....grasshoppers.
Texas A&M etymologist Dr. Allen Knutson tells 1200 WOAI news grasshoppers started early and got a head start, and now they are plaguing farms and ranches.
"In some cases, the pressure has been so great that fields have had to be treated two and sometimes three times to protect the crop from invading grasshoppers," he said.
Knutson says grasshoppers thrive in hot weather, which we're having now, and he says the problems they pose to crops will 'likely get worse before they get better.'
He says the main food for grasshoppers, weeds and wild grasses, are going away this time of year, which means that there will be more grasshoppers in fields, especially irrigated fields.
Why so many grasshoppers? Knutson says the mild winter means adult grasshoppers got busy earlier producing huge numbers of babies.
"It warmed up earlier this spring, and that, of course, stimulated insects to start reproducing and increasing populations earlier than typical," he said.
In addition, Knutson says last year's drought killed a common fungus which frequently holds down grasshopper populations by wiping out many of the young grasshoppers when they're still in the larval stage.
Bad news--he says grasshoppers are hearty creatures, so if you have grasshopper problems today, you'll have them until November. They're not going away any time soon.