Countless insects live in the temperate grasslands. Insects are the biggest consumers of plants in the steppe and prairie grasslands. Sometimes in the prairie after a drought, populations of grasshoppers increase due to the lack of their predators. Rarely, when these grasshoppers come together and swarm, they are called locust. While they are swarming, locusts can completely engulf and destroy every plant and crop that they come into contact with. Although locust plagues are rare, they do happen. In 1870, Nebraskan farmers reported a swarm 100 miles (161 kilometers) long, 30 miles (48 kilometers) wide, and one mile (1.6 kilometers) high. It took six hours to pass. The swarm was estimated to include some 124 billion grasshoppers.
Along with grasshoppers, lady beetles, scarab beetles, stinkbugs, and dragonflies also eat plants and decaying matter. Insects are also a great source of food for creatures, such as snakes, rodents, and birds.