Insect Invasion In Butte Valley

Jun 27, 2010 8:39 PM

An insect invasion in Butte Valley! "I didn't know if there were seeds everywhere or what it was, because I just saw stuff moving on the road then hitting the windshield and then once I stopped to clean the windshield off because I couldn't see out of it anymore, I figured out what they were," Sarah Murray of Chico stated.

Thousands of grasshoppers began popping up in the area several weeks ago, covering lawns, roads, and businesses. "It was erie, it was uncomfortable to come down to the little store here, which we do daily. This got hit the hardest, the parking lot was completely covered," Butte Valley resident Cynthia Clark explained.

Butte County Agriculture Commissioner Richard Price says the insects are possibly the Shorthorn species. Price says the grasshoppers lay eggs in soft soil in the Fall, which hatch in the Spring. They come about every five to eight years when the conditions are right. All the rain this season made Butte Valley the perfect home for these creatures, but people living in this area say they are an unwelcome guest! "You would sit out on the lawn furniture and you would have to lift it and shake it before you put it down again, otherwise they were sharing the chair with you," Clark said.

The small insects invaded Butte Valley earlier this month, but most residents say they are happy they are finally starting to move out. "I'm happy that there gone, yes."

So where are they all going? Most likely they are migrating to higher elevations where the grass stays greener, longer. The Agriculture Commissioner says the grasshoppers have also shown up in almond orchards in Durham.


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