Mormon Crickets are Back Plaguing South County


The infestation begins as thousands of katydids, often mistaken for crickets, return and plague homes and ranches.

Lassen County’s Ag and Weights department says infestations have largely been detected in Milford, Herlong, and Constantia. Large swaths of the ground-dwelling insect, native to the western United States, have created slick roadways in neighboring Nevada yet have once more crossed the state line headed for the high deserts on NE CA, as they prefer barren sandy soils. The insect brings significant concerns as it has a voracious appetite for vegetation, posing a threat to home gardens, crops, and rangelands.

The Ag department adds that Mormon crickets are most active during warm, sunny days seeking shelter during the night, noting that drought conditions encourage their infestations.

In response to the alarming rise in cricket populations, the Ag department has suggested various control methods for homeowners and ranchers. This includes building a fence or slick barrier, made of chicken wire tightly covered with sheet plastic to protect flowerbeds and garden areas. Additionally, soil pits or water traps placed at intervals can catch the crickets. The use of Sevin or Perma Guard can also be used as a chemical and bait method.

You are urged to be vigilant of any infestations and use the suggested methods to reduce their numbers and avoid significant damage.

According to the University of Nevada, Reno, their life cycle spans 60 to 90 days. 

Photo courtesy Shawna Shelby 2023