Grasshoppers Causing Problems in Northern California

Grasshoppers Causing Problems in Northern California

Tim Hammerich
Tim Hammerich
News Reporter
With California Ag Today, I’m Tim Hammerich.

One negative consequence of the dry year has been an unusually high infestation of grasshoppers in some parts of California.

Lile… “Definitely an outlier year. I think this is probably the worst year we've had in the last eight or ten years.”

That’s David Lile, county director for Lassen, Plumas, and Sierra Counties for UC Cooperative Extension. He says the warm and dry spring allowed the grasshoppers to thrive.

Lile… “When we have dry and not cold weather, the natural mortality of the grasshoppers is much lower. And so, you know that cool, wet, cold conditions in spring that we often get here. When we don't have that, then all those little grasshoppers tend to survive and then we tend to have these, you know, huge numbers in summer.”

Lile says the pests are mostly affecting rangelands and pastures in his area. They’re difficult to control, he says, because the influx was not expected, and they are much more mobile than other insect pests.

Lile… “They're so mobile that they can move from one place to the next and we've had people, you know, treat and then have a new infestation of grasshopper move in. And that gets to be a little bit discouraging. I think we just need to ramp up for 2022 and try to be more prepared to catch these things as early and as widespread as we can.”

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