If you don’t like the idea of grasshoppers descending on your town like a creepy, crawly blanket of bugs, stop reading now. Because while that’s probably not exactly what Albuquerque feels like right now, there’s an invasion of grasshoppers in that area right now so dense that the bugs are showing up on weather radar.
I can just imagine the conversation meteorologists had with that one…
“There are bugs on the radar.” “What? THe radar has a bug? Call IT.” “No, I mean… grasshoppers. Lots of’em.”
It’s the worst grasshopper infestation in the area in 20 years, reports ABC News, citing officials who have seen the insects on the radar. Officials with the National Weather Service says the critters make it look like it’s raining, when it’s just bugs. Lots of bugs.
“We have actually been noticing the insects on radar since about Memorial Day,” said NWS spokesman David Craft. “We have noticed the greatest impact on the radar during the evening, but they are noticeable at other times of the day, too.”
So what’s a few bugs here and there? Well, unless you like bugs flying in your face at any point while you’re running, walking or generally being outside, plants getting eaten up and are a fan of dead bug goop all over your car while driving, you probably wouldn’t like this many grasshoppers.
The plague is the result of a dry winter, which didn’t kill off all the egg pots the cold weather usually does, explained one professor. That, combined with hungry bugs coming from the lackluster feeding grounds on the open range has made it rough for all the residents with thick, green lawns prime for the chowing.
But don’t go spraying pesticides like crazy, warn officials — it’s not going to help anything.
“Some people are freaked out about them, others fear they will bring disease, and some folks want different agencies to spray to control them,” said a rep from the the Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service.
If you want to keep your garden safe in Albuquerque, cover your plants, the BCCES rep explained.
“We are encouraging gardeners to cover plants. Insecticide sprays are ineffective and not recommended. Grasshoppers are flying upwards of 3-5 miles,” he told ABC News. “If an insecticide for the home gardener is used, it may kill a few grasshoppers, but more will be flying in. The more the homeowner sprays, this will negatively impact other insect species as well as the plant growth,.”
Getting antsy being around so many bugs? You’ll just have to wait it out, he adds.
“As with everything this too shall pass.”
Anyone else having flashbacks to reading By The Shores Of Silver Lake where the Ingalls family (spoiler alert) had to leave Minnesota because grasshoppers were eating everything? We’re with you, Albuquerque. Don’t move to South Dakota just yet.