Great grasshoppers! If you’ve been seeing damage to your garden or pastures, you’re not alone. Grasshoppers have been attacking Texas homes around the state this summer. The outbreak is the result of last year’s drought in conjunction with years of hot, dry summers, warm autumns, and dry springs. Grasshoppers thrive in these environments, making it prime for their survival and reproduction.
It can be tough to ward off a grasshopper outbreak no matter where you are, because they’re able to fly long distances and can easily relocate to places where food and water are plentiful. Their natural habitat is on the ranges and in pastures. According to entomologist Chris Sansome of the Texas A&M University Research and Extension Center, this year’s infestation is one of the worst he has seen in 31 years on the job. He adds, “If you have 30 grasshoppers per square yard, that’s the equivalent of a cow, and lots of places are easily running those numbers.”
In Erath County, the grasshoppers are eating their way through hay fields. They are causing problems around the state, from the Coastal Bend region through North, Central and East Texas, all the way to the Rolling Plains. Sansome notes, “They are destroying landscapes and pastures. We’ve had people who walk outside their house and their yards are gone in a day. People have come home from vacation and all their plants were gone. We’ve got that kind of infestation.”
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