AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — Heavy spring rains are being blamed for an invasion of grasshoppers around Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle.

Horticulturist Greg Lusk from the Amarillo Botanical Gardens tells the Amarillo Globe-News the pests are selective and prefer to munch on ornamental grasses, herbs and vegetables. But once those are gone, he says they'll move on "to everything they can find."

A Texas A&M Extension Service entomologist, Ed Bynum, says the grasshoppers likely laid their eggs after May, when Amarillo had more rains than usual, and that the rain spurred abundant vegetation they could eat once the eggs hatched.

Lusk says as soon as his plants began showing leaf damage from grasshoppers, he started treating them with insecticide because the plants have no self-defense against thousands of grasshoppers and need help.