Grasshopper plague expected this summer


Fires, floods, drought, blizzards, avalanches -- life in the West can be rather challenging. And now a plague of locusts.

Well, not exactly. Just plain old grasshoppers, whose population has been growing in parts of the West, and might peak this year, causing hundreds millions of dollars in crop and other damage. The population boom is happening in parts of Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that normally, there are about eight insects per square yard. Last year's surveys found 15, and that could hit 60 this summer in peak areas.

If the weather turns cold and damp in May and June, population could drop, but warm, dry weather could produce an infestation as great as in 1985, when the voracious insects destroyed entire fields and even ate fenceposts and the paint off barns.

You can read more about it in this Wall Street Journal article.

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