This “Biblical” Insect Is Spreading Like Wildfire
(FeaturedNews.com) – Farmers in the Northwest find themselves dealing with an insect that may remind some of the biblical locusts sent to punish the Pharaoh in Egypt. The Mormon cricket, a pest well-known to the area, is flourishing in Oregon and other states under conditions that have already put a strain on the farming industry.
The giant critter, which isn’t a cricket but a shield-backed katydid, can reach over two inches in length. More like a typical grasshopper than a locust, they don’t fly, but can travel up to a quarter of a mile per day. They thrive in warm, dry climates, making their appearance during a drought more likely. The insects eat crops at an alarming rate.
Farmers in Oregon already battling extreme drought are also fighting against infestations of grasshoppers and Mormon crickets, giant insects that can ravage crops. Outbreaks across the U.S. West have worsened amid drought and warmer temperatures. https://t.co/SL3cBsMSSJ
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 26, 2022
Possibly the most disturbing aspect of the bugs is that they’re also cannibals. If they lack sufficient protein, they’ll feast on each other. They eat their own dead regularly, turning roadways into slippery killing fields.
Some farmers are taking drastic action to rid themselves of the pests with the help of local officials.
Some state and local governments assist farmers that meet certain criteria to exterminate the insects with powerful pesticides. One of the most effective methods of controlling Mormon crickets is diflubenzuron, a chemical that stops the creatures from reaching adulthood and procreating.
In Oregon, a farm qualifies for help if they find eight grasshoppers in a square yard. The state will recommend the inhibitor and reimburse the owner for 75% of the cost.
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