Thursday, September 17, 2015

The cricket invasion of Uintah in 1884; Grasshoppers in 1904 Ogden

THE year 1848 wasn’t the only year that Mormon pioneers had problems with crickets in their farm fields. The summer of 1884 was also a bad one for the pesky insects in the Weber County community of Uintah, in Utah.
“The crickets are making sad havoc with the potatoes, corn and other plants in the neighborhood of Uintah,” the Ogden Herald newspaper of July 5, 1884 reported. “The red pests have come from the hills in great swarms and are chewing the vegetation to the ground wherever they appear.”
-Twenty-one years later in the north end of Ogden, grasshoppers were a huge problem for farmers.
“Farms are invaded by pests” was a July 19, 1904 headline in the Ogden Standard-Examiner. One man reported 100 cases of raspberries lost to the insects. The wheat fields were also being devastated.
Even the southern part of Box Elder County was also reported as being affected by the grasshopper invasion.
One desperate farmer advised mixing arsenic, sugar and bran with water to sprinkle on the insects to try and exterminate them.
-Neither time did the seagulls come to the rescue. However, regarding the famed 1848 seagull miracle, it appears that most of the pioneers did NOT initially view that as a miracle. It was only later and after Brigham Young returned from the east (as he was absent during the first insect invasion) that settlers looked back and saw it as a divine blessing.

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