Mormon crickets and grasshoppers officially an outbreak in these four Idaho counties - East Idaho News
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Mormon crickets and grasshoppers officially an outbreak in these four Idaho counties

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BOISE – The Idaho State Department of Agriculture is trying to get cricket and grasshopper infestations under control.

According to the ISDA, the large amount of grasshoppers and mormon cricket have been designated as outbreaks in Cassia, Oneida, Power and Franklin counties.

“An outbreak is an area of infestation where multiple landowner assistance request evaluation surveys well exceed the economical threshold for damage,” states a news release from the ISDA. “Assistance requests within a designated outbreak area are expedited directly to assistance.”

Mormon crickets are natural components of Southern Idaho’s ecosystem; however, populations reaching outbreak levels cause serious economic losses to rangeland forage and other agriculture-use lands. The insects cause direct damage to plants’ growth and seed production by consuming plant stems and leaves.

“We recognize that parts of the state are experiencing pest pressure beyond a typical year,” says Nic Zurfluh, ISDA Invasive Species Program Bureau Chief in the news release. “Our team is working as quickly as possible to assist landowners. Ultimately our goal is to serve the industry by safeguarding agricultural commodities from the impacts of grasshopper and Mormon crickets.”

The ISDA Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket Control Program has received over 182 requests for assistance for grasshopper and Mormon cricket control from agricultural-use landowners, a 62 percent increase from last year.

To qualify for assistance or reimbursement, landowners must own or manage at least five acres of agricultural use land in Idaho and be actively experiencing infestations of at least three Mormon crickets per square meter or eight grasshoppers per square meter.

Typical agricultural use includes rangeland, pasture and row crops.

According to the news release, this season the ISDA has distributed 76,330 lbs. of insecticide bait to qualifying landowners, free of charge.

“It is the landowner’s responsibility to apply the bait and follow label directions as well as all state and federal laws,” states the news release. “ISDA has 53 reimbursements in progress for cases where insecticide bait has not been the optimal treatment. Additionally, the ISDA conducts right-of-way treatments on state highways when Mormon cricket densities reach hazardous levels.”

Visit invasivespecies.idaho.gov/grasshoppers to submit a request for assistance. ISDA staff will contact the landowner to schedule a time to evaluate the property and determine the most effective control method.

To mitigate infestations on land that does not qualify for assistance, contact a local crop advisor or chemical supplier to receive guidance and recommendations on the appropriate application.

For questions regarding the Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket Control Program, contact Sam Kellendy, ISDA Program Specialist at (208) 332-8592 or sam.kellendy@isda.idaho.gov.

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