The grasshopper or locust is one of the most ancient plagues of cultivated crops. From the earliest time they have destroyed crops. During Moses' sojourn in Egypt they were so destructive as to cause severe famine and various other references to their destructive work are to be found in the early writings. Since those early days, just think of the crops that have disappeared between the greedy jaws of grasshoppers!
In our own country it has not been many years sin
e the sun was darkened for days by clouds of grasshoppers as they settled down from the Rocky Mountains upon the growing crops in the neighboring states. One day a field might have a promising crop and by the next day it might be left as bare as a dry stubble field in August. Those days of great destruction in America have largely passed but each year the active jaws of "hoppers" devour a handsome fortune.
Common differential locust or grasshopper; a, egg nests underground; b, young nymph; c, d, older nymphs; e, adult grasshopper; f, nymph feeding on grass. This shows development with incomplete metamorphosis.
In the same order with the grasshoppers come the crickets, katydids, rear-horses, devil's darning-needles or walking-sticks, and cockroaches. The grasshoppers are most troublesome, however. They deposit eggs in the ground and in other protected places. In the spring these hatch into young "hoppers" scarcely larger than a pin head at first. Throughout the early summer these small fellows feed and increase in size. They burst their old skins and crawl out of them a number of times as they grow larger. Toward fall they become full grown with four strong wings and very powerful hind legs for jumping. In this condition most of the common grasshoppers will be found in the fall when the rural schools open.