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Grasshoppers invade U.S. West
FRI Jun 13 2003 20:50:27 ET

San Francisco (dpa) - Huge swarms of hungry grasshoppers have invaded the western United States, prompting agricultural experts to warn of damage unparalleled in decades.

The plague has hit the states of Nevada, Utah and Idaho particularly hard and shows no sign of abating.

;This is bigger then anything we've seen in a long time,'' said expert Mike Cooper, quoted in ;The Idaho Statesman''.

Cooper cited records showing the current swarms to be the largest since World War II. Officials in Idaho have posted warning signs near highways warning of slippery conditions if the crickets swarm on the road.

In Utah, authorities predict that 2.5 million hectares could be devoured by the invading swarms. Authorities are hoping to use insecticide to prevent the situation's getting out of hand, but environmental groups have filed four law suits hoping to block the spraying.

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