Around the Bluhmin’ Town
Yikes! Millions of grasshoppers have been invading Arizona. I didn’t really believe it until I saw it for myself. Jiminy Cricket! Dear Readers, what I observed was so strange, so frightening, that it could be out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie!
I don’t want to alarm anyone, but something weird is happening when you drive into a gas station and see a carpet of grasshoppers on the ground and they form a black cloud around the lights. I witnessed a poor woman pumping gas while literally flicking them out of her hair. She had to run for shelter into her vehicle, which soon became covered with the little beasts. I saw people scrambling out of the convenience store swatting the creepy insects. You could hear crunching sounds as people stepped on them. What is going on?
I contacted some “grasshopper experts” who assured me that there is no chance that our State will experience anything like a devastating locust infestation. With our wetter than usual winter, the grasshoppers are having a field day (no pun intended). They are generally harmless to humans, although they can be annoying.
Who wants to go walking while these critters jump all around you and land in your hair? As a woman jogger said, she spun around in circles trying to “untangle” crickets from her ponytail and almost ran like a wild woman out into traffic. Yep, insects can do that to people.
Do not go to Las Vegas! The Strip is being so completely inundated with massive swarms of grasshoppers forming a dark haze around casino lights, that it is grossing everyone out and making terrified folks run for cover. The cloud of grasshoppers shows up on the weather radar.
Grasshoppers use celestial navigation, so the bright lights of Las Vegas are totally confusing them, Experts say the insects will not be able to break the trap of these lights and will end up in a mass graveyard, leaving gooey messes on sidewalks and streets. “Other worldly” is one weatherman’s assessment, which describes Las Vegas every single day.
Sleep well. No locust infestation is predicted in Arizona, unlike in 1980, when a million acres were destroyed and there were 25 grasshoppers per square yard. Grasshoppers and crickets are cousins and can be pleasant and benign. Locust invasions are grasshoppers who have joined a ruthless gang and eat everything in their path.
The particular gas station that had the onslaught of grasshoppers is adjacent to an area under construction. The grasshoppers congregated while they made their way to another location and a more “normal” behavior pattern.
There’s a whole lot of knee knocking, leg clanging, and body slamming going on when you get a few thousand grasshoppers together. They make quite a racket. The situation seems to be settling down. They only live for a brief time. It appears that these pests are leaving Arizona for greener pastures.
Isn’t there an alcoholic drink called the “Grasshopper?” Might be fitting to try it. If it’s any good (with no real bugs involved) and you have the recipe, drop me a line.
Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Contact Judy at [email protected] or at www.aroundthebluhmintown.com.
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