Thousands of grasshoppers invade backyard

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Two years ago it was a moth invasion. Last year it was flies. This year grasshoppers are invading Albuquerque in “biblical proportions.”

One woman said there were so many it looked like her sidewalk was moving.

Thousands of grasshoppers scatter in a backyard in the Four Hills neighborhood.

Sounds like popcorn popping, one woman told KRQE News 13.

“I have never seen anything like this,” Roger Hartman said. “We’ve lived here 15 years. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Hartman said he noticed a few uninvited guests in his yard last week.

They quickly multiplied.

“It has been kind of an explosion since. Now, it’s just more grasshoppers than I have ever seen in my life,” Hartman said.

Grasshoppers are hiding in the rocks, scaling his walls and, most annoyingly, eating his plants.

That is why Hartman called John Garlisch, an agricultural agent for New Mexico State University’s Bernalillo County Extension Office.

Garlisch said, from the west side to the east side, Albuquerque residents have described a grasshopper takeover.

“It looked like their sidewalks were moving or shaking,” Garlisch said.

He said more of the insects’ eggs survived than usual because of the mild winter, and they are hatching earlier because of the early spring.

The warm weather and drought are now driving the grasshoppers into the city.

“Since there is no food for them out in the rangelands, a lot of them are coming into the home landscape to find nutritious stuff for them to eat,” Garlisch said.

He said chickens and turkeys can help get rid of grasshoppers. Otherwise, covering plants with light gauze or netting is the only sure way to protect them because trying to kill the grasshoppers with insecticide won’t stop thousands more from moving in.

“I wish they’d go away,” Hartman said.

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