Early start to Mormon Cricket season

Posted at 7:30 PM, Jun 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-03 21:34:31-04

Washington and Gem counties have some unwelcome visitors that have arrived... Mormon crickets!

While it's no surprise they're in the Treasure Valley, those with the Idaho Department of Agriculture are closely monitoring the situation.

The crickets are a nuisance but pose no real threat to humans.

Unless, large populations converge along area highways. Then, it can turn into a driving hazard due to slick roadways.

Pesticides have already been sprayed on the roadsides of Highway 55, 95 and 21.

The biggest concern, though, is for area crops.

"They really like to feed on rangeland and crops," says Lloyd Knight with the Idaho Department of Agriculture.

Mormon crickets and grass hoppers are expected but not so many this early on.

Idaho Department of Agriculture officials are already getting calls from farmers who are worried they could have a big impact on their crops.

"We've had years we've distributed half a million pounds of grasshopper bait, other years it's been closer to 100,000 pounds," Knight says. "So, we're way early in the season yet to be able to put a number to that."

The department focus is on state lands with scouts currently on the lookout for problematic areas. They also assist farmers to help control invasive insect populations.

"If someone just sees one or two, we don't really engage then," Knight says. "It's when they become to a threshold we know they'll have a serious impact and then we try to control them."

The agriculture department provides farmers with a pesticide. You can find more information here:

Homeowners with similar problems are urged to find the product that best fits their individual needs.