FORT SMITH (KFSM)-Kent Tally is the assistant manager at the Links Apartments. He said grasshoppers are damaging plants at the apartment complex.
“We started noticing a lot of holes about two weeks ago,” Tally said. “They`ve been chewing on them, and eating them up.”
Lance Kirkpatrick is the extension agent for the University of Arkansas’ Division of Agriculture in Sebastian County. He said grasshoppers tend to follow rain patterns.
“It's kind of difficult to explain why there's so many,” Kirkpatrick said. “If you look at where the calls are coming from, Perry County, moving north all over the River Valley.”
He said because they're in an early stage of development right now, they're more of a nuisance than a problem.
“If you leave the garage open, they're getting into houses where you have your lights on,” Kirkpatrick said. “You're probably seeing them in swimming pools and things like that.”
But when the grasshoppers start to grow wings, they require more food to eat.
“You see them a lot in undisturbed areas, vacant lots, roadways, different things like that,” he said, “but once they consume that food around them, then they move into residential areas.”
He said that can lead to damaged croplands, grass and gardens. They can even clog a swimming pool filter.
“The grasshoppers do have a natural control mechanism called fungal pathogens [that] will actually control the population,” Kirkpatrick said. “If the weather conditions stay the way they are, there's a good chance that those populations will be controlled.”
The County Extension Agent said grasshoppers are more prevalent at night than during the daytime. Experts said they are not harmful to humans.