Northern CA crawling with grasshoppers

Farmers urged to stock up on pesticides or chicken

RED BLUFF, Calif. | June 13, 2012

"there's not a whole lot you can do"

—Doug Compton

Agriculture officials in Northern California are urging farmers and gardeners to stock up on pesticides or chickens to combat an outbreak of grasshoppers.

Tehama County officials told the Red Bluff Daily News they were being swamped with calls from farmers seeking pesticide permits to save their crops from the pests.

"It's not the worst I've ever seen, but it's early yet," said Doug Compton, a county biologist for the past 28 years.

"Right now, they're swarming around so it's hard to walk around without breathing them in, but they haven't done any feeding damage yet," Compton added. "There's not a whole lot you can do."

Compton said his department has been suggesting mowing a barrier around lawns as a way to discourage infestations or even bringing in some chickens to eat the unwanted visitors.

Otherwise, he said, all a person can do is wait for summer weather to heat up and drive the hoppers away.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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