Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Grasshoppers invading central Utah

Grasshoppers, when leaping on Tony Atherley's front door, make a "pop" like the sound of cooking popcorn. Atherley has been hearing thousands of pops since June 1, when the grasshoppers infested his Pine Canyon neighborhood, about four miles northeast of Tooele. One neighborhood child is so afraid of the swarms of grasshoppers outside her bedroom window that she sleeps away from home. Atherley's 4-year-old daughter was so scared when the grasshoppers first arrived that she asked her parents to carry her into the house. Swarms of grasshoppers infest Utah agricultural lands in 10-year cycles, and by all accounts, the summer of 2009 is the beginning of another cycle in central Utah — the Uintah Basin and Sanpepte, Millard, Sevier and Tooele counties. For the next few summers, the grasshopper population will increase until it peaks, said Clint Burfitt, an entomologist with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. Shortly after the grasshopper population peaks, they get infected with a deadly fungus, and the population quickly drops off. The cycle will begin again in seven years...DeseretNews

1 comment:

Mike from Nature's Best said...

Mother nature sure has some funny ways.