Grasshoppers Spurring Interest at Sibley Nature Center

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- There is nothing like a little bug boom to spur interest out at Midland's Sibley Nature Center.

"We've gotten some people out here that haven't been out here before." Michael Nickells says the surge in the number of grasshoppers has prompted calls and visits from people who want to understand why they're seeing more grasshoppers.

"I had a lady bring in a specimen she had never seen before. We'll it turned out to be a fairly common species I had seen it before but I hadn't seen it in a long time simply because we hadn't had that much rain in a long time," Nickells said.

NewsWest 9 Chief Meteorologist Tom Tefertiller said the annual rainfall is two inches above.

"We're seeing the weather pattern overall where were actually seeing cool fronts move through this summer and bring us some rain like those big rainfall events in July that are causing the big blowup of bugs right now." Tefertiller said the El Nino weather event expected this winter isn't to blame for the increase in rainfall.

At Aldredge Gardens in Midland, customers have been coming in with questions. The staff put up a list of products on the entrance door to give shoppers answers.

"A lot of people have complained that they're not accustomed to seeing grasshoppers in this area. I am not sure what brought them in but they are definitely here," Roger Andrews, who has worked in the Home and Garden business for decades, said.

Experts say large numbers of grasshoppers can devastate a large crop or garden. Nickells says by changing the color of your porch light bulb from white or blue to orange the light won't attract them.