ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The distant sound of Grasshoppers might make for a nice summer soundtrack, but the creature choir is a bit louder this year, according to some Big Country Residents.

“Last fall we were warmer than normal. We had a warm, mild fall, fairly dry and, evidently, a lot of grasshopper eggs were laid,” said Taylor County Agriculture Extension Agent Steve Estes.

Grasshopper found inside Taylor County Extension Building

Estes explained that 2022 is, by no means, record-setting in terms of grasshopper population. But the dry, warm conditions have made for a highly successful growing season.

“The grasshoppers aren’t necessarily thriving, they’re searching for food,” said Estes. “They’re congregating more so in areas where you do see some vegetation.”

This lack of food in their natural biome has brought them out of the countryside and into the cul-de-sac and farmers fields in search of greener pastures.

“It means that you’ve really gotta stay on top of your plants and your landscape, or your garden in trying to keep the grasshoppers at bay,” Estes advised.

When it comes to fighting back, Willow Creek Gardens owner, Adam Andrews, told KTAB/KRBC nothing quite cuts it like Nolo Bait.

“It’s an organic product, it’s easy to apply… A bag will cover a full acre’s worth,” said Andrews.

This bacteria-based poison only affects Grasshoppers, according to Andrews, making it safe for other animals. What’s more; grasshoppers are actually attracted to the poison.

Grasshoppers will often eat the bait before chowing down on nearby grass or crops. You could say they can’t get enough of it. Unfortunately, neither can local retailers.

“This is our second year not to be able to have it,” Andrews revealed. “The problem is both with the high demand for it and the supply chain issues, it’s very difficult to get a hold of.”

With priority going to commercial operations and no generic alternative available, Estes and Andrews said chemical pesticides like 7-Dust, Bifenthrin and Malathion are the next best thing.

“These products are a little less effective, because the grasshopper still has to eat part of the plant to ingest that insecticide for it to kill them,” said Andrews.

Treating early and often to stay ahead of the swarms is encouraged, because a heavy rain might be the only thing that pulls these pests out of city limits.

“Until then, it looks like the grasshoppers will probably be here to stay,” Estes added.