Grasshoppers may threaten rangeland

It's egg hatching season for grasshoppers all across the West and already a large batch of grasshoppers have invaded northern New Mexico, especially in Albuquerque and across Bernalillo County. The pesky creatures can be found on roadways, sidewalks and front porches making for an unsightly mess and threaten local nurseries and homes where plants and shrubs are subject to destruction.

USDA-APHIS grasshopper and Mormon cricket suppression program policy manager Charles Brown says APHIS monitors and surveys 17 Western states each year in an effort to prevent the loss of rangeland across the West, and so far he says grasshopper and cricket outbreaks have been limited to a small area in Arizona. But he warns that any given year serious outbreaks are possible and with them comes the risk of losing grasses across the open range and even a threat to production crops if left unchecked.