Grasshoppers abundant in NM thanks to monsoon rains

Updated: 11/07/2013 7:51 PM | Created: 11/07/2013 7:50 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

You may have noticed more grasshoppers hopping around Albuquerque and New Mexico this fall.

Doctor David Lightfoot, an expert in grasshoppers at UNM, says Mother Nature is the reason they're still around.

"This year has been very good for certain species of grasshoppers in New Mexico because of the high amount of rain we had in July and again in September and that rain triggered egg hatch," Lightfoot said.

There's no need to worry about them swarming overhead and destroying crops like the Rocky Mountain Locusts did back in the 1800s.

These grasshoppers prefer a smaller target, such as people's yard. They can be a problem with garden plants if they're in high numbers.

Another place that they love to hang out: the side of the road. This can be a problem for motorists, especially in southern New Mexico.

Places like Deming and Lordsburg have seen the highways covered with the bodies of these grasshoppers because people run them over.

"More grasshoppers come onto the road to feed on the dead grasshoppers and they just keep coming and coming," he said.     

If enough of them pile up, they can make the road slick like ice.     

Like most other insects, the grasshoppers won't survive the first hard freeze.

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