Grasshoppers Chewing Up Texoma

In a matter of days they can chew through a good part of a tree, wreaking havoc on anything in their path.

This season, many Texomas are faced with fending off grasshoppers from their gardens and crops.

Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers went to one of the hardest hit areas to see how folks are fighting off the green grazers.

"The worst yet, we've lived out there for eight years and it's as bad as we've ever seen it," Scott Hodges said.

He and his wife live in the Kamay area.

He says the past several weeks they've been battling it out with a specific bug.

"My wife's flowers, and her flowerbed after she planted those and the tomatoes plants in the garden as well," he said.

Grasshoppers are even doing damage to the Hodges' coastal hay.

"Anything that's green, they'll eat it. Grasses and broad leafs are preferred, some tree and shrub damage." county extension agent Fred Hall said.

Although he said we're not in a plague year, we are above the trend line.

Hall said he gets up to eight calls a day.

We also talked with a Wichita Falls exterminator who says they are seeing the same thing.

It's no surprise, considering one female can lay anywhere from 50 to 200 eggs.

"We can see almost total devastation. I've seen a couple peach trees that were almost de-foliated. I've seen a garden where plants have reduced leaf area by 70 to 80 percent," Hall said.

You'll know you're dealing with grasshoppers because they don't mess around. No holy leaves or nibble marks, these pint-sized pests go for the real deal.

"Leaves stripped down to the main stem or vein, that's a good indication," Hall said.

"It is pretty frustrating to work and then have grasshoppers eat it completely up," Hodges said.

Spraying insecticides regularly will work to ward off adults and baits tend to work best for young grasshoppers.

Hall also recommends keeping weeds, vacant lots and fields mowed to there is less food for the foragers.