Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Alien Invasion

They’re trying to take over the world
  [vote for,

In Northwest America there is a voracious insect referred to as the Mormon Cricket. It has bred and eaten its way from Canada to Arizona and is now considered to be at ‘outbreak’ population level. It destroys millions of USD in agriculture each year. Outbreaks last for years, sometimes decades; however, the motivation behind this idea isn’t as much about agriculture protection as it is fire control.

It’s shaping up to be an extremely unpleasant (understatement) fire season in that part of the world due to prolonged drought, but as I recently discovered, it’s not just the weather, it’s also the crickets. Wave after wave they destroy much of the plant-life in their path (including mature trees), leaving behind swaths of combustible bio-mass.

I’m going to build a series of waterslides throughout the mid-western US on both eastern and western facing topographically appropriate slopes. I estimate a 6000’ (1829 meter) average vertical drop. The slides will be supported off the ground as most are with ample room for wildlife to traverse beneath... ‘cept for most of the crickets. Water is pumped from the pool at the bottom back to the top, with some added to account for evaporation of course.

Noticing that the critters seem to merrily jump off docks, bridges, et cetera into water and paddle around until they find the shore or something suitable to dig their tarsal claws into and climb out, my fabric ramp method will be used. Beginning each spring, sheets (of sorts) are attached to the north-facing rim of each waterslide and staked to the ground allowing gaps periodically for the animals.

Swarms of crickets climb the sheets and plop into the rushing water only to find that they have no surface coarse enough to cling to and no springboard on which to push off. They ride the swirling rapids to the end where they land in a gutter with a meshed conveyor belt moving along the bottom. The water flows through the mesh into the pool. The crickets are escorted to the side where they fall into a dump truck as the belt meets the scraper just beneath the roller on the end. Firefighters, farmers, and homeowners rejoice throughout the land.

Summer time! Pull up the sheets, remove the conveyor belt, clean out the slides, and chlorinate the water. She’s got a ticket to ride!

(free rides back to the top)

Shz, Jul 21 2003

News http://www.cbs2chic...tory_164095513.html
[Shz, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Current Strategies http://www.agri.sta...BLM%20EA%202000.pdf
Pesticides... Ew. [Shz, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Topology of NW US http://wwwflag.wr.u...maps/4StateDEM.html
I see many a waterslide location [Shz, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Mormon Cricket http://www.sidney.a...s/pdfs/MormonCr.pdf
For those who have that ‘need to know’ feeling [Shz, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       This sounds a little like DeGroof's Frog-friendly Skimmer Cap jigglywhop. Maybe the frogs can feast on the crickets.
FarmerJohn, Jul 21 2003

       Much as I like Steve’s idea, this doesn’t sound the same at all.
Shz, Jul 21 2003

       Won't the crickets just jump into the pool at the bottom and clog up the pump? Maybe the collection pool should be covered.
squeak, Jul 21 2003

       I'm sure they are tasty and high in protein.
sartep, Jul 21 2003

       //Won't the crickets just jump into the pool at the bottom and clog up the pump?//   

       Nope. First of all they float and the water is pumped from beneath the surface, second, they land in a gutter instead of just onto a belt so they can’t hop off the belt.   

       sartep, I’m sure I’ll have to answer to that line of questioning eventually.
Shz, Jul 21 2003

       They didn't change their name to the LDS cricket?
RayfordSteele, Jul 21 2003

       //LDS cricket?// The locusts beat them to that name.   

       dag, could be a big refreshment stand hit at the bottom of the slides - for gutsy/macho tourists. You can’t say you’ve done ‘cricket run’ ‘till you’ve *really* done ‘cricket run’.
Shz, Jul 21 2003

       (cue cricket sounds to indicate lack of audience for insect restaurant)
snarfyguy, Jul 21 2003

       Dang seagulls are never around when you need them. I am surprised to see the Mormon crickets called "alien". They are native sons, no?
bungston, Jul 21 2003

       That’s correct snarfy, there’s no market for bug munching nowadays.   

       bungs, I called them ‘alien’ because they start out in Canada and migrate to the US. Of course most every/thing/one that lives in the US (including myself at the moment) migrated from somewhere else. In that respect I would call them ‘native sons’. It’s the melting pot thing. There are relatively few ‘true’ natives here, yet we all call it home.
Shz, Jul 21 2003

       son of star wars giant space bug swatter?
nicepalmtrees, Feb 10 2005

       They are edible, just not marketable (in the US). I recall thinking that they should be used for fertilizer on the very lands they had decimated.   

       Wow, the links still work.
Shz, Feb 11 2005


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