Mormon Crickets Invading Early

Mormon Crickets Invading Early

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Richard Piatt ReportingThe annual infestation of Mormon Crickets is invading large patches of land from Nephi to Grantsville already this year. Along the way, the critters are devouring plants and invading yards.

Mormon Crickets Invading Early

Not only are they pesky, hungry, and did we mention ugly, the pests invading early. They're making their way into new territory and thriving, mostly west of Nephi, and in Tooele County.

Matt Palmer, Utah State Extension Service: "It's spreading to new areas we haven't seen them before, and getting worse in areas we have seen before."

Even a light layer of crickets on roadways produces a disgusting crunch that most people try to ignore. But these Tooele County natives have had encounters where the creatures are impossible to ignore.

Larry Miles, Grantsville Resident: "We were up lion hunting here near the house, and the dogs are trailing a lion, and we hit a spot where the dogs couldn't trail any more, it was just crickets on top of crickets."

Up to now the crickets have seemed satisfied hanging out in the hot dry desert or in alfalfa fields. But every year it seems they get closer and closer to the places where people live, which to some is a little too close for comfort.

Congress recently appropriated 6.7 million dollars to Utah to help pay for poison bait, and to treat nesting areas for both crickets and grasshoppers. But some fear the problem is already out of control, and new complaints keep coming in.

Allan O'Connell, Grantsville Resident: "If you saw them in the numbers that you see them in the desert here in residential neighborhoods, I would expect there would be a great deal of alarm over that."

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