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Mormon Cricket

The Mormon cricket, Anabrus simplex, is a large migrating insect in the katydid family (not a true cricket). During mass migrations, Mormon crickets can cause extensive damage to forage plants in crops and rangeland in their migration path. Mormon crickets feed voraciously on wheat, barley, alfalfa, sweet clover, truck crops, and garden vegetables. Because of their migratory habit, a single Mormon cricket spends only three or four days at a particular site, causing little damage in that short time.  But migrating bands of nymphs or adults may completely destroy fields of sugar beets, small grains, and alfalfa. During the 1937 outbreak, Mormon crickets caused $383,000 of crop damage in Wyoming.

In 1973 the Wyoming legislature listed the Mormon cricket as a state-designated pest. Weed and Pest Control Districts can assist local landowners with IPM practices to help them minimize the impacts of Mormon crickets on their crops during mass migration years.

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