ENVIRONMENT

Hordes of grasshoppers descend on and decimate Utah crops

Jun 30, 2023, 6:52 PM | Updated: Jul 8, 2023, 6:37 pm

TOOELE, Utah — Like monsters right out of your nightmares, hundreds of thousands of grasshoppers have taken over in parts of Tooele County.

Farms are dealing with the destructive menace.

“Every bit of alfalfa that’s in my fields is gone,” rancher Michael Dow said. “I planted a pasture and all the seedlings were about 3/4 of an inch tall Sunday morning, and on Sunday evening, they were gone, it was bare dirt.”

Dow said there are approximately 70 grasshoppers per square yard. They started showing up a couple of weeks ago but the infestation has just become worse.

“They’ll take out a crop in a matter of days and you can poison them with a spray, you can create a buffer zone with poison, it’s not a threat to pets or livestock. But you have to catch them early.”

Utah’s Department of Agriculture did give him poison for the grasshoppers.

“But we just didn’t catch them in time, and they came on really quick,” he said. “We’re talking thousands of dollars in seed, in water, in time; not to mention, the lost feed.”

When Dow kicks up dirt, he is also kicking up insects.

“As we’re driving through them with the side-by-side and they’re jumping all over you, they land on your face. It’s not a good feeling,” he said. “They’ll stick to your clothes and get in your pockets, they’re just kind of nasty little creatures.”

In a record water year, good for crops, Dow has faced the grasshopper infestation.

“We’re just out here trying to make a living,” he said.


Correction: On July 8, the National Weather Service of Utah corrected themselves about the grasshoppers showing up on their weather radars. They now believe it was chaff from the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. This story has taken out any mentions of the grasshoppers arriving on weather radar.  

Swarm of grasshoppers on NWS radar was actually reflective material from Nevada air force base, NWS says

KSL 5 TV Live

Environment

The raised waters Parleys Creek in Sugar House Park as the warm weather melts snow in the mountains...

Emma Benson

‘Keep away’: Salt Lake City officials urge water safety amid spring runoff

Salt Lake City officials warn everyone of high waters near parks and trails as warm weather melts the mountain snow.

2 days ago

Crews started to burn invasive phragmites Friday....

Mike Anderson

Firefighters burn invasive phragmites in Ogden Bay

Crews started to burn 2,000 acres of invasive phragmites in the Ogden Bay Wildlife Management Area Friday.

2 days ago

Smoke of the controlled burn near Antelope Island...

Michael Houck

Utah DNR conducts a controlled burn at the Ogden Bay

Wildlife officials are burning several acres of grassland at the Ogden Bay on Friday.

3 days ago

Two ducks on the Oquirrh Lake in Daybreak....

Shara Park

Duck dumping at Oquirrh Lake is causing overpopulation and environmental issues

A case of duck dumping is highlighting a concerning issue developing in Daybreak: the overpopulation of ducks at Oquirrh Lake.

3 days ago

hydrologist sits in an office chair at an office desk...

Shelby Lofton

‘The unknowns really revolve around the weather’: Experts monitor spring runoff after above average winter

Now that it's spring following another above average snowpack, concerns over flooding in parts of the state are rising.

5 days ago

Great Salt Lake raises...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

How a productive March changed Great Salt Lake’s spring outlook

The Great Salt Lake was already expected to receive a strong boost from this year's snowpack, but projected inflows are now expected to be a bit larger after a productive round of March storms.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Hordes of grasshoppers descend on and decimate Utah crops