?I?ve got a war on my hands here,? says Scott Overson of the USDA, referring to the recent plague of crickets in Utah. ?They?re cannibals. They?ll eat anything, including each other.? Just one Mormon cricket can consume up to 38 pounds of forage in its brief life of several months.
Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt has declared an agricultural emergency to help combat the infestation of crickets and grasshoppers that have affected 1.5 million acres and caused at least $25 million in crop damage.
?We?ll never get rid of them, says Edward J. Bianco, the state?s head entomologist. ?We?ll be fighting them for 200 years. But the ultimate goal now is to control their population to where there is no economic damage to farmers.?