Insects have gardeners hopping mad

If you’ve walked outside, I’m sure you’ve noticed the amount of grasshoppers in your yard, garden or pasture and the damage they are doing. I have taken some information from our Extension specialists and incorporated them here for you to use.

Why are grasshoppers so bad this year, again?

Consecutive years of hot, dry summers and warm, dry autumns favor grasshopper survival and reproduction. Warm, dry fall weather allows grasshoppers more time to feed and lay eggs. Also, rains in the spring when eggs are hatching drown young hoppers and encourage fungal diseases which kill hoppers. Thus, dry weather in the spring favors their survival. During hot, dry summers, weedy hosts dry up and grasshoppers fly in search of green plants. The search for food can result in large numbers of grasshoppers concentrating in or­chards, crops and irrigated landscapes.