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Oregon approves aid for grasshopper siege

Oct. 2, 2008 at 1:04 PM

BAKER CITY, Ore., Oct. 2 (UPI) -- A infestation of grasshoppers in Baker County, Ore., has resulted in a $119,000 grant from the Oregon Legislature's Emergency Board, officials say.

State officials said the aid will also benefit other Oregon counties under siege from the horde of hungry insects, who number 300 per square yard in some portions of the state, The (Portland) Oregonian reported.

Approval of the emergency aid comes as state officials are growing increasingly concerned with predictions that the grasshopper population will escalate dramatically in 2009. Female members of the Camnula pellucida species are expected to lay at least 200 eggs per insect before this winter.

"It's possibly a plague of biblical proportions," said state Sen. Ted Ferrioli, who called for the emergency aid.

Oregon Legislature's fiscal office spokesman Paul Siebert told the Oregonian that most of the state funds will be spent on monitoring the grasshopper eggs until next June, while the remaining portions will be used for spraying efforts.

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