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Residents say grasshoppers coming in plague-like proportions

SHAWNEE, Okla. – When the warm weather hits, so do the bugs.

If you’re outside, you’ll find mosquitoes, see more spiders than usual and walk around mounds of ants.

There’s also a certain species that has been seen jumping all over southwest Oklahoma.

“Huge ones,” Ben Ganesh said.

Ganesh is from Bethany but owns 76 acres of land in Shawnee.

Following last week’s storm, Ganesh was working in the fields when swarms of insects invaded his property.

“These grasshoppers were on me, on my tractor, I mean hundreds of them at the time,” Ganesh said.

Agriculture workers at OSU Extension are noticing the increase in grasshoppers as well.

“We’re getting three to four calls a day,” Ray Ridlen said. “They’re just eating up everything in the landscape.”

There’s no specific way to keep grasshoppers from coming to your home or property, apart from some preventative sprays but sometimes that’s not even enough.

“They’ll be able to tell what wasn’t sprayed and they’ll go attack the one plant that was missed,” Ridlen said.

Only cold and wet conditions can reduce the number of grasshoppers but once they get their wings and become mobile, there’s no way of stopping these insects from migrating.

Just how many grasshoppers we have in the summer really depends on the Spring.

The more moisture in the soil activates a fungus that kills the grasshopper before it reaches its adult stage.

The more moisture, the better if you don’t like these insects.

“We can anticipate a large number of grasshoppers depending what the spring is, especially in southwestern Oklahoma,” Ridlen said.

For some people, park goers, grasshoppers don’t bother them a single bit.

“I think it’s nature and you should just let it go within reason,” Edmond native Christianne Yossef said.

If you’re experiencing a high amount of grasshoppers on your land, call your county extension office for prevention on your property.