DENVER (KDVR) — Grasshoppers are seemingly everywhere. In your garden. On your plants. In your backyard. Inside your home. Not only are there more grasshoppers than normal, there are more in the city.
“These changes in insects we’re seeing lately, they most possibly are due to global warming effects, such as having these very cold winters and very hot summers,” said Francisco Garcia, the entomology manager at Butterfly Pavilion.
The prolonged winters actually protect grasshoppers’ eggs. The snow covers the eggs and shields them from the chilling temperatures. In turn, more and more of them survive, according to Garcia.
But climate change isn’t the only reason there are so many grasshoppers this year. Insects are more likely to relocate to the city in search of food, especially with soil erosion and lack of vegetation, Garcia said.
“Another problem is just the change in the ecosystem that we’re having around cities. The more we keep increasing the population of people changing like gardens or vegetation, then these changes actually have a toll on insect populations,” Garcia said.
It’s not just Denver or even Colorado. Reports of large bug populations are coming from Utah and Nevada as well, Garcia said.
“People are reporting these very big populations of insects coming into the cities, and people are scared, and they don’t know what to do,” Garcia said.
While grasshoppers are thriving in these conditions, they will eventually die out when the weather gets cooler. But the climate affects more than grasshoppers, and it’s causing other insect populations to decrease.
“They (insects) make up to 97% of animal species on Earth, and the changes in their numbers and their population fluctuations could have a big impact on our life and environment,” Garcia said.