By Vickie Speek
Mormon Cricket Invasion This Year Will be Worse Than Ever
HOWELL, UTAH -- Mormon Crickets are already hatching in many southern
Utah counties and the infestation is expected to be worse this year
than ever before.
According to state entomologist Ed Bianco, control programs must
begin soon or the crickets will spread. Surveys performed last year
show an area more than 1.2 million acres in size where the crickets
will probably hatch over.
Bianco said the state is getting ready to spray and put out bait for
the insects, but he couldn't speak for the Federal Bureau of Land
Management or the Forest Service.
Farmers can get a 50-50 match to help control insects on their own
land, but said it's not always effective if control measures aren't
also applied to federal lands near by.
Like many Utah ranchers and farmers, Arthur Douglas, a rancher near
Howell, knows all too well what sort of damage to expect. His area
doesn't get crickets, but he does get grasshoppers. In years past,
Douglas says he has seen them so thick, they would line up like
boxcars 20-deep on a single stalk of grain. They would spread before
him like a wave as he walked through a field.
While most members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
are familiar with stories of crickets plagues in pioneer Utah, not
everyone knows that it continues today. Many of the farmers who
suffer from their damage are LDS Church members.
Cricket control measures needed now
Ogden UT Standard-Examiner 5Apr01 D6
By Charles F. Trentelman: Standard-Examiner staff
State entomologist says bountiful crop of bugs possible