JOPLIN, Mo. — Many people are noticing more grasshoppers in their yards or even a few creeping into their homes this time of year.
And, a naturalist with the Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center in Joplin says it’s, actually, perfectly normal. It’s all about the grasshopper’s life cycle. They lay their eggs in the fall, before the first frost… and then those eggs hatch in the spring.
Grasshoppers are very small when they hatch and we may not necessarily see them very much. They then spend the entire spring and summer growing, so, now, there are not necessarily more — they’re just more noticeable.
“There isn’t a vast increase in grasshoppers or decrease that we’ve seen this time of year or anything. But, because, we’re getting to see the adult, they are the largest size at this moment. Because, again, that adult is going to go try to find another adult grasshopper, they’re going to mate, lay eggs, and continue that life cycle again,” said Jessie Ballard, Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center Naturalist.
The drought has not affected the grasshopper population this year, either. And, you may notice more grasshoppers if you’ve recently mowed, because they like taller grass and it allows them to flourish more. Naturalists also say they’re a crucial insect that eats plants and becomes an energy source for the rest of the food chain.