It’s official – Canberra is in the middle of a grasshopper boom.
Mild temperatures and wetter weather during the spring and summer periods have helped provide the perfect growing conditions for the jumping insects.
Flooding in Queensland and New South Wales are also thought to have forced the species to head south in search for drier homes.
Insect expert at the ANU, Associate Professor Paul Cooper, said the increased numbers of grasshoppers are likely to have been hanging around the region for months.
“All the adults are out now so that’s why it’s more obvious – because they have wings so they can get to more locations that they would have been able to when they were just larvae.”
Some Canberrans have reported increased numbers of grasshoppers at local schools, apartment buildings and petrol stations.
While the idea of a ‘boom’ is enough to conjure up chilling images of insect plagues in other parts of the world, Cooper said it’s unlikely we’d see that in Canberra.
“This is probably going to be it.”
“The latest we’d probably see [population numbers peak] is the first or second week of April.”
“The reason they’re just starting to show up now is because the summer wasn’t as hot as it normally is, so their development time was delayed.”
For the same reasons the grasshoppers close cousin, crickets, are also expected to boom but we’re more likely to hear than see them in our homes.
Listen to the latest news below: