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Bumper Crop Of Grasshoppers May Be Here For Several More Summers

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Peter Pereira of Centennial took this photo on Aug. 31 of a grasshopper on a sunflower in Littleton.

Peter Pereira of Centennial took this photo on Aug. 31 of a grasshopper on a sunflower in Littleton.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s hard not to notice the bumper crop of grasshoppers this summer. They’ve been out in full force across Colorado.

An expert at Colorado State University says the weather this spring and summer has been just right to let the hoppers thrive. It could be just the first of several summers hopping with the insects.

“It keeps you moving. You don’t want to stand still because they’ll kind of try to grab on to your leg. That’s kind of the yucky part,” Windsor resident Andrea Gregory said.

“There are more grasshoppers this year than in several years past,” CSU entomology professor Frank Peairs said.

Peairs does research on various insects that can damage crops in Colorado. Grasshoppers can be tough on rangeland and backyard gardens. They tend to peak about every 22 years.

“The last time we really had major problems was in the mid 1980s, so we’re actually more than due for a major upswing,” Peairs said.

Peairs said that means Colorado is likely to see even more grasshoppers in the next several years. This year the temperature and moisture have been just right for grasshoppers.

“I’ve never seen so many,” Fort Collins resident Alison Lammot said. “I saw, the other day, two robins working this. Because as a bird tried to catch one, they’ll jump away. So this one robin would make them jump, and the other guy would nab them.”

Peairs said this year’s grasshoppers will be around until the first frost.

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