Too Early to Predict Grasshopper Numbers in Sheridan County

It's too early to know if the grasshopper count will be high in Sheridan this year. (Photo by Pat Blair)

Although an entomologist with the UW Extension Service is predicting high grasshopper numbers for Wyoming overall this year, Luke Sander said it’s still a little too early to predict what will happen in Sheridan County.

However, Sander, who’s supervisor for Sheridan County Weed and Pest, said there were pretty high outbreaks of the pest last year in late summer and fall.

Sander said the county weed and pest won’t know about the numbers until they start seeing hatchings and can start monitoring. He said he’s assuming this year’s numbers will be high, based on what he saw last year, but he doesn’t know for certain at this time.

He said grasshoppers are cyclical creatures. The last really big hatching was in 2010, followed by a decline then a slow buildup of numbers. He said the cycles are over a period of seven to 10 years.

He said there are different species of grasshoppers, and the greater pests start hatching in June. He said the ones that caused problems last year hatched later, around July and August. He said there are some grasshoppers around now, but they aren’t the problematic ones.

Sander said people who have problems with grasshoppers can get materials from Sheridan Weed and Pest to kill the insects. He said Weed and Pest can also put larger landowners in contact with applicators who can spray their land. He said Weed and Pest also can cost-share with landowners to help with the costs of the chemicals used.

He recommended that landowners who think they might have a problem call so they can get on the applicators’ lists for treatment. He said the landowner can always cancel, but a delay in calling might mean a harder time scheduling an applicator.

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