August 14, 2014 - 4:32 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - While they are an important food source in parts of Africa the overwhelming number of grasshoppers gracing our yards, parks and roads have not been nearly as welcome in the Southern Interior.
Karla Hoffman, Integrated Pest Management Coordinator for Kamloops says while the city itself is not dealing with the grasshoppers as a pest this year she has seen an influx in the little green insect and has heard a lot more complaints about them this year.
“There’s definitely more than average,” she says. “The sheer numbers make it difficult to do anything with (them) though.”
Just because there is a high number of grasshoppers does not mean they are a problem either. The city is not treating them as a pest and most people are more curious about the high number of them, rather than concerned about it.
The good news is there seems to be less grasshoppers flying around now than just a couple of weeks ago.
“It hasn’t been noted as a big problem,” Hoffman says. “Use screen doors to keep them out of the house, and if they’re going after particular plants (in your yard) use netting or screening to protect them.”
Andrew Humphrey, a pest control specialist, agrees there isn’t much you can do about them because there are no residential products approved specifically for grasshopper control.
“There’s not much you can do — just keep a broom handy and get a few more cats,” Humphrey jokes. “We’re at the whim of nature in these cases, there’s nothing you can do. Everything goes through these cycles.”
Humphrey says he personally saw just how bad they could be in some areas, especially rural, and while he had some people asking about spray there are not any chemicals and pesticides registered for use on grasshoppers, at least residentially.
“They were really bad in some areas. The whole highway was covered in them a month and half ago,” he says, adding controlling them through chemicals is not an option. “There’s nothing I know of that is specific to grasshoppers. If someone says they can come spray for you, be wary.
Last year wasps were an issue in many areas and both Hoffman and Humphrey say they are not sure just what next year will bring.
“Remember the wasps last year?” Humphrey asks. “That’s the beauty of living in a desert, you never know what you’re going to get.”
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Credit: Dwayne Iamdwayne
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