The Invasion of the Grasshoppers!

Making a video at Lone Pine State Park

by Marlene

“We have another four to six weeks of grasshopper hell” before frost kills them off, said Helena Atthowe, a horticulturist with the Missoula County Extension Office.

E is not a fan of insects and has been complaining all summer about grasshoppers. She has been reluctant to walk through tall grasses where we can see them hopping about like crazy. I didn’t think much about it until this morning when I saw an article in the newspaper about grasshoppers infesting western Montana. Apparently, our dry weather this past spring has helped the grasshopper population grow. Spring is usually rainy. Grasshoppers are more susceptible to disease when it’s wet, which keeps their numbers down.

Evidently there are areas where roads are slick with grasshoppers and places where you can’t tell if it’s the ground or grasshoppers. Personally, I’d like to see that! I suspect these insects are making some farmers here hopping mad. They are eating hay, grass, and cereal grain crops. Some will have only about a third of their hay crop this year. But, it seems the birds are happy. I read that baby robins are so full of them they can’t fly.

Below – shooting footage for the “Bear Charge” video. Three guesses how E got across that grass:

  1. There were no grasshoppers
  2. She screamed and ran
  3. Her dad gave in and carried her

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