ALBUQUERQUE, June 2 (UPI) — Grasshopper swarms in Albuquerque have been so big they’re showing up on a weather radar, confusing local meteorologists.
“Albuquerque has not seen these levels of grasshoppers since the early-mid 1990s,” said John R. Garlisch, extension agent at Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service.
The air is so thick with bugs, they’re appearing like rain on the weather radar, ABC News reported.
“We have actually been noticing the insects on radar since about Memorial Day,” said NWS spokesman David Craft. “We have noticed the greatest impact on the radar during the evening, but they are noticeable at other times of the day, too.”
“It is a nuisance to people because they fly into people’s faces while walking, running, and biking. They are hopping into people’s homes and garages, they splatter the windshield and car grill while driving, and they will eat people’s plants,” Garlisch added.
This is the worst grasshopper infestation the region has seen in 20 years. Officials are blaming it on a drought.
“There wasn’t enough winter to kill the egg pots. Because of the dry winter the eggs survived, hence the outbreak of grasshoppers,” David B. Richman,Ã‚ professor emeritus at the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science, New Mexico State University said.