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Jump in grasshopper numbers not an issue for city residents

You’ve likely noticed them hopping through bushes, getting chased by neighbourhood dogs. The number of grasshoppers in Grande Prairie has exploded this summer, but Integrated Pest Management Coordinator Jim Donnelly says they shouldn’t pose much of a problem for city residents.

“There’s way more; the last couple of years – maybe three years – populations are going up, but they’re sort of a non-issue for urban landscapes, because they eat some grass and some other things and stay out of your garden largely. They’re not eating your vegetables.”

The same can’t be said for Alberta farmers, who say the insects are wreaking havoc on their land,
and becoming a threat to crops like wheat and barley and eating the grass that livestock need to eat. They’re reportedly thriving on the extremely dry soil conditions, which could lead to larger populations for the next couple of years.

Donnelly expects to see the insects hopping around until the end of August. He adds that with the cyclical nature of their population, it should naturally be brought down with diseases in wetter years.

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