It’s summertime. Which means, much like humidity, bugs are omnipresent. They’re in the house. They’re nesting in the garage. They’re completely taking over outdoors. Because it’s warm out and also because that’s just what bugs do – they bite and they bother. (Knock on wood, mosquitos have been leaving me alone which must be from all of the pickles I sometimes eat.)
Most of the time, that nuisance applies to bugs as a whole. This year, however, it’s exclusively grasshoppers. The green jumpers who flail themselves without caution. They are absolutely everywhere. And while it’s true that they don’t bite, even the most innocent bug becomes a problem when they’re coating your yard.
Just how dense are they? Walking brings up a cloud with each step. There are carcasses on every concrete surface, each with a live hopper atop each, mourning through creaks and bent legs.
Heading across the street – where it’s essentially a post-apocalyptic field (there are no houses, but plenty of streets and mailboxes; a project cut before it could get started) – brings even more insects. I walk, arms up and sunglasses firmly attached, as they hop at me and cling to every inch of available clothing. A moving swarm of green. After the worst of it, I pat down and remove each of their bodies from my own.
It has occurred to me that anyone who sees this likely thinks I’m having a spasm – kind of like when you are shooing a bee, only no one else sees the bee because they aren’t the one being attacked. But I would rather look like a lunatic than be covered in tiny legs any day. A feeling I’m 99% sure is universal.
Where Do They Come From?
Seriously. Where did so many grasshoppers come from? Not in a sciencey, how-are-babies-made type of way, but in a logistical way. I’ve never seen so many grasshoppers in my entire life. Combined. And yet, in a single location, they’ve absolutely taken over. I’m in awe. Is this the world’s breeding center of grasshoppers? Is there more to the lack of houses than the city’s letting on? Like some type of radiation poisoning where the main side effect is grasshopper eggs?
Or if their existence is natural, what gives? This is the year for the 17-year cicada (a bug that’s much more annoying, BTW) – not grasshoppers. Side note, there are also 13 and 22-year locusts, which actually look exactly like grasshoppers. (Which also aren’t scheduled for 2015) so maybe these bug are just locusts masquerading … and fooling all the weathermen and their prediction calendars. Rather than appearing when told, they’re hiding out in rural Kansas, just waiting to make their migration into various states. Like an almost silent militia.
Are the Grasshoppers Annoying?
Aside from being downright fascinating, no, not really. They don’t bite or call too loudly. They’re just EVERYWHERE. The biggest issue is finding their dead parts throughout the house. Apparently Toga, my cat, thinks he’s singlehandedly in charge of population control. He has set out to eat at least one per day. A task he proves by gnawing, then leaving limbs and rear-ends throughout the kitchen. Gruesome, and also ineffective against population numbers. If he’s going to make a dent, he needs to nap less and hunt more. (Which I think we all know isn’t going to happen.)
To the grasshoppers/locusts/whatever type of bug you are, keep on living life. Seeing as there’s nothing me or my cat can do about it anyway. Maybe just stay out of the face. We already know you can jump that tall; no one likes a show off.