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Influx of grasshoppers in Colorado bad for farmers and gardens, the result of warm and dry winter and spring

Why grasshoppers are everywhere this summer in Northern Colorado
Why grasshoppers are everywhere this summer in Northern Colorado 02:34

Coloradans across the Front Range, especially in Northern Colorado, have noticed significantly more grasshoppers this year. Researchers with Colorado State University confirm there has been a spike in grasshoppers across the state.

"Colorado is seeing a very large number of grasshoppers, we have been getting reports from all around the state," said Lisa Mason, horticulture specialist and entomologist for CSU.

Mason told CBS News Colorado's Dillon Thomas the grasshoppers we are seeing right now are the result of eggs buried in the dirt by grasshoppers in 2023 which were able to hatch as the result of a relatively warm and dry winter and spring.

"I've seen an increase that's for sure, especially near the house along the vegetation and greens that are growing," said Edward Ortiz, a Weld County resident.

When you walk in many open spaces, especially those in more urban areas, there are thousands of grasshoppers jumping around you throughout your walk.

"I think it is more of heat-related. But, I could tell on my plants, my vegetation plants, there are a lot of little bites and tiny ones running around," Ortiz said.

"Weather certainly plays a role, warm dry weather can mean more grasshoppers," Mason said.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies
A grasshopper sits on the railing in the first inning of a game between the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on June 29, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. Justin Edmonds / Getty Images

Mason said that while grasshoppers may seem to be nothing more than annoying to many, they are bad for many who grow food.

"Generally, it is not a good thing for people, especially ranchers and farmers. The grasshoppers are heavily feeding on their crops which impacts their livelihood," Mason said. "They'll pretty much eat everything, so I would watch your plants closely."

Mason said those who want to protect their gardens at home should consider covering them with nets. And, if you want to use a pesticide, she encouraged you to read labels on the products thoroughly to ensure they are safe to use on the plants or foods you plan on protecting.

As for those in agriculture, Mason said it might be a little too late to fully alter the amount of grasshoppers in 2024. She said the best time to address that concern would have been in the Spring of 2024 when there were initial signs that there may be more grasshoppers this year.

"Once they become an adult they are much more mobile and harder to control," Mason said.

Mason said there are too many factors that play into whether or not the grasshoppers in 2025 will be at the same level, or even more abundant. However, she did say the blister beetle feeds on grasshoppers. That means there may be a growing population of blister beetles in the coming months.

As their name suggests, the beetle can cause humans to get blisters when physically contacted.

Mason encouraged those who need to make contact with the blister beetle to wear gloves. 

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