You've probably heard about the locust swarms that decimated many farms and left thousands hungry on the American plains. Perhaps you're more familiar with the locust plagues of Biblical times.

Either way, you've heard about the destruction these insects can leave in their path.

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Did you know, however, that the Colorado National Guard once tried to use flamethrowers and explosives to combat a locust invasion in 1937?

What Caused the Locust Invasions in Colorado?

To understand the plague of locusts, we must understand what a locust is. A locust is a form of grasshopper. That seems harmless enough, right?! Well, they can be harmless unless the circumstances are just right.

Normally a solitary creature, if enough locusts get together, they change their behavior and really come together, creating a hoppin' party, if you will. That's when they swarm. I know, not the most scientific or elaborate description but it works.

Locust swarms seem to be more prevalent during the late 1800s to early 1900s. That's not to say there weren't smaller swarms throughout history.

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That One Time Colorado Used Flamethrowers + Explosives

Talk about going to extremes to get rid of a nuisance.

Under the leadership of Alphonse Ardourel during the "Great Grasshopper War" of 1937 where billions of locusts invaded Colorado's eastern plains the Colorado National Guard was called out to exterminate the bugs.

Instead of a giant can of Raid, they used tons of dynamite against the 'hoppers that didn't phase them. Other accounts say they also used flamethrowers to scorch them. Which, as you can imagine, that didn't work either.

What did work was sawdust and poison, ridding the eastern plains of their nuisance for another year.

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