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Hordes of hungry grasshoppers invade Utah
News Columnists
Pet News By MIKE STARK Associated Press Writer
Police Log
Updated: 06/29/2009 07:01:48 AM EDT
Top News Headlines (AP)
Weather
TOOELE, Utah—An ambitious director might look at Mitch Halligan's property and see an instant B-movie classic: "In vasion of
the Grasshoppers."
Sports The place is overrun with the greasy little bugs. With each step you take on his property, the squirmy inch-long g rasshoppers
jump for cover in every direction. Those that don't crunch under foot perch themselves atop tall grass stalks, cra wl up pant legs
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Across the road isn't much better. Grasshoppers blanketed the neighbors' entryway a few days ago and forced them t o come in
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through the back door.
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"I'd call this the closest that I've seen to a plague in a long time," Halligan said.
The Week That Was
Bridgeport Bluefish Grasshoppers are regular summer visitors and a perennial crop-eating pest for farmers, but this year's invasion in Tooele
Bridgeport Sound Tigers County west of Salt Lake City is worse than anyone can remember. Tooele County commissioners have been swamped wit h
calls about grasshoppers, particularly by people living next to undeveloped land where grasshoppers hatch—sometime s up to
UConn 2,000 per square foot.
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"There's like 100 times more grasshoppers than what we're used to," said Bruce Clegg, a county commissioner whose family
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has lived in the area for generations.
Accent Many of the culprits this year are clear-winged grasshoppers, which began hatching several weeks ago and have move d like
an unyielding wave across the parts of the landscape ever since.
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20-Something Northeast of Tooele, the grasshoppers showed up
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suddenly and attacked Leana Jackson's backyard garden,
infiltrated her lawn and even found their way into her house
and car.
"They're just a nuisance," Jackson said.
Alone, the brown and tan grasshoppers are small and more
likely to tickle than terrify. But in large numbers—and they
almost always come in large numbers—they are a hungry
force to be reckoned with as they search for grasses and
other plants to eat.
"Just their sheer abundance can make them a pretty
destructive insect," said Clint Burfitt, an entomologist with the
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.
His office estimates that grasshoppers have hit about 250,000
acres in Utah this year. That's slightly more than the estimate
at the end of 2008.
Grasshoppers come and go in seven- to 10-year cycles, said
Larry Lewis, a spokesman for the Utah agriculture
department. The overall numbers in Utah may not be that
Movie Review high—more than 1.4 million acres were infested in 2001—but grasshoppers are drawing more attention this year as th ey move
Music Review from farms to expanding suburban neighborhoods.
In The Clubs
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On Video/DVD That's where many of the calls for help are coming from, said Linden Greenhalgh, the Utah State University extensi on agent in
PreView Cover story Tooele County whose running tally of calls about grasshoppers this summer nears 300. People with houses that abut wild open
Soap Recaps areas where grasshoppers hatch are "sitting ducks" for the little invaders, he said.
Theatre Review "They'll come in and devour their landscapes," he said.
Part of the reason for this year's infestation is the upswing of their normal cycle. But dry weather for several y ears, and a wet
Business June this year that provides plentiful food for this year's hatch, also play a role.
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Plentiful populations have residents flicking them off their clothing, spraying several times a week and killing s cores as they
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drive down the road.
Top Business News (AP)
"I think you could say it's the worst-ever in Tooele County. I don't think it'd be a stretch to say that," Greenha lgh said. Tooele
6/29/2009 2:02 PM
Hordes of hungry grasshoppers invade Utah - The Connecticut Post Online
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http://www.connpost.com/ci_12712238
County sits in a valley about 30 miles west of Salt Lake City.
Opinion He and others have been scrambling to respond. Already, they've sprayed about 18,000 acres with a poison that targ ets
Editorials grasshoppers' ability to grow in their own exoskeleton.
Letters to the Editor
Arriving with the grasshoppers have been flocks of hungry seagulls keen on bite-sized grasshopper snacks. That's a strange if
News Columnists welcome sight—seagulls are Utah's state bird, beloved for reportedly feasting on infesting crickets that were thre atening
Michael J. Daly Mormon settlers' food supplies in 1848. Even people's chickens, which normally gobble up as many grasshoppers as t hey can
catch each spring and summer, can't keep up.
Ken Dixon
John Hourihan But even birds and poisons probably won't be enough.
Stephen J. Winters
The grasshoppers, most of which aren't yet to the adult stage, will only grow bigger, and possibly more abundant, as the
Charles Walsh summer wears on, Halligan said.
Hugh Bailey
———
On the Net:
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http://ag.utah.gov/
ADVANTAGE PRECIOUS
METALS CORP.
http://extension.usu.edu/
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