Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture, confirmed Thursday that a large swarm of grasshoppers and beetles were traveling into Oklahoma.
“When swarms of insects are large enough, and dense enough, they can appear on radar,” said Arthur. “The National Weather Service indicated a large swarm of insects on radar today,” she said.
Arthus said the swarm of bugs originated from the Copper Breaks State Park near Quanah, Texas, and were headed toward Oklahoma.
Although grasshoppers were reported in Duke on Thursday, farmers on both the north and south side of Duke said they haven’t seen an unusual amount of grasshoppers or beetles as of last night. “Nothing out of the ordinary,” one farmer said.
There were negative reports of excessive insects from the Creda area, and Officer Dill with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said he hadn’t seen or heard of problem yet, but Alan Snodgrass, who lives in the Humphreys area south of Altus, said that areas on his land looked like the ground was moving from all the grasshoppers. “There were thousands and thousands of them,” he said.
The area the grasshoppers were spotted in was two miles north of Hwy 5, nine miles south of Altus.
Local OSU Extension Agent Gary Strickland said that the bugs seem to be headed toward Tipton and into Tillman County.
“Because they stop and feed, it’s hard to determine how fast they will move through an area,” said Strickland, “but they will move on,” he added. “And at some point, they will disperse.”
Farmers can check into commercial applicators, and if a home gardener wants to get something to kill the bugs, they should get something that is residule to battle the new bugs that will follow.
Snodgrass did say that although the swarms he saw were in fields with wheat that had been hailed out, they were also behind their barns in the grass and feeding on their garden.
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