Grasshoppers are a large group of herbivorous insects that belong to the suborder Caelifera with the evidence of their presence dating back to more than 250 million years which typically live near the surface of the ground with energetic hind legs that they use to leap from one place to another. The best places to find them are with a generous amount of food such as grasses, leaves and excessive vegetation in your garden. They are voracious eaters and can eat 16 times to their body weight in a day. They are busy eating during the entire day but in the urban environment, they eat during the night as well. Having no nesting habit, they are considered migratory to locate their foodstuff even at very long distances. Especially, during the summer in temperate regions, there is always a threat for invading them to a lush green garden either it’s your or anyone else in the neighbor.
Let’s look into the best possible strategy to get rid of grasshoppers ahead of time using different practices.
Table of Contents
- How to kill grasshoppers?
- What are grasshoppers & where do they come from?
- What eats Grasshoppers?
- Grasshoppers’ life Cycle
- How to prevent grasshoppers?
How to kill grasshoppers?
#1 Niban Granular Pest Control Insecticide Bait (Chemical – Editors’ Choice)
#2 Semaspore Grasshopper Bait (Natural – Editors’ Choice)
Semaspore bait contains Nosema lacustae which is a naturally occurring disease in grasshoppers that keeps their population well in control if they are caught with that. This bait spreads disease in over 100 grasshopper’s species that harm the garden plants and crops in the field. After the bait is inside their stomach, they lose their ability to eat voraciously and also lose the ability to reproduce as the egg-laying is lowered to 80% and feeding reduces to 75%. Due to these reduced abilities, they start eating on the sick grasshoppers and their population decreases vigorously after 3-4 weeks of bait application. The process continues and grasshoppers keep on dying even in the next year. There is no side effect on humans, animals or beneficial insects in your garden.
Apply 1 ounce of bait in 500 square feet area when the grasshoppers are at an early stage in your garden. Doses can be increased on sudden or heavy infestation that may need a multiple application to keep grasshoppers off plants.
#3 Cy-Kick CS
Add 2 ounces of Cy-Kick CS in one gallon of water in a mist sprayer and spray over the plants that are feared to be attacked by grasshoppers.
Spraying must be done in the evening that needs complete wetting of the plant’s upper foliage
#4 CYZMIC CS – Controlled Release Insecticide
Mix 6ml of CYZMIC CS in 1 gallon of water in a power sprayer and wash your plants upside down thoroughly in the evening. Complementary watering is required after spraying any systemic insecticide in your garden that increases insecticide efficacy to kill resistant pests.
#5 Bonide-Neem Oil(70%) Insect Repellent
Add 4 ounces of Bonide 70% Neem Oil in 1 gallon of water in a hand-held sprayer and spray on your plants thoroughly.
#6 Southern Ag Carbaryl 5 % Dust
For Vegetables, use I pound in 1 gallon of water and spray using a pressure sprayer.
For Lawns, use 5 Pounds for 1000 square feet area.
For home Gardens, dust on the plants leaves thoroughly.
What are grasshoppers & where do they come from?
They are from the group of jumping insects in the order Orthoptera having more than 24000 species across the world out of which 1300 species have been identified that are supposed to exist in the US. They often occur in the greatest count in semiarid regions, lowland tropical areas and grasslands. Their color is variable from green to brown with yellow or red marks on the main body. Their sensory organs are located in different parts of the body like antennae at the head, cerci on the abdomen and receptors on the legs. Its taste organs are in the mouth while it smells with antennae. Tynpanal organ is used to hear while compound eyes are located on the forehead.
What do grasshoppers eat is ultimately anything green that comes their way, they eat it up as they are herbivorous but only a few species are considered as crop pests due to their migratory habit. The short-horned grasshoppers are often more destructive, swarming and migratory and prominent species is the locust or Desert locust which have the history of devastating crops in the past.Their infestations are more common during the summer months in the tropical regions across the world while temperate regions are famous for their large sizes and chirping sounds they produce during the summer months
What eats Grasshoppers?
They are also eaten as food in some parts of the world where they are dried or often roasted especially in the Gulf and Africa. Other known predators are the birds including chicken, frogs, and snakes..
Grasshoppers’ life Cycle
Grasshoppers have only 3 life stages i.e. Egg, nymph, and adult and they go under an incomplete metamorphosis to carry on their reproduction to miss the caterpillar stage. They usually take 2 months to complete their life cycle from an egg to an adult. A female grasshopper lays eggs in the ground during the summer and fall. Eggs are given the shape of the pod in the soil. A pod contains 200 eggs as an average that again depends on the species of the female. The egg hatching takes place in 3-4 weeks whereas Nymph is passed in 8-10 weeks and adult 9-11 weeks depending on the ground temperature and species as well. Adult longevity of an adult is considered to be 51 days in males while a female does live for 52 days. How do long grasshoppers live can be supposed from the above findings that they may have 1 generation in a year in the temperate regions keeping in mind their natural predators.
How to prevent grasshoppers?
Preventing grasshoppers is only possible through traps and early sowing of the desired vegetables or greens. Early sowing is not possible because it is dependent on other factors like temperature and humidity where gardeners have already short spans to grow their edible stuff. On the other hand, traps can be used but once sudden outburst occurs, they go beyond control where the gardeners are left with the options to kill them with organic, natural and systemic insecticides for immediate control.
#7 Safer Brand-Insect Killing Soap
Its readymade formulation is simple and easy-to-use. Shake bottle well before any application.
#8 Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- Mixing one part apple cider vinegar with 3 parts of water in a one-quart spray bottle would make an ideal solution to get rid of grasshoppers from your garden plants. Thoroughly spray all garden plants with this solution in the morning when their feeding is at peak. The same solution can be repeated keeping 2-3 days interval. Its organic remedy and there is no harm in using vinegar on your edible plants. There is no restriction to harvest after its immediate application.
- Take a plastic container having the 1-quart liquid capacity and bury it into the garden soil. Fill this container with pure apple cider vinegar leaving 1 inch empty from the top. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil and agitate for a while. Grasshoppers will keep coming in & keep dying. If someone escapes from the solution, they will not able to feed on plants again.
#9 Insect Repellent Garlic Barrier
Shake contents of the bottle well before making a solution. Always spray organic products in the morning that is deterrent as well as a killer. Add 2.5 ounces in one gallon of water. Agitate well and spray on the entire vegetation using a hand-held pressure sprayer.
#10 Entomophthora Grylli
Entomophthora Grylli is a fungi strain that infects grasshoppers to paralyze them. On infestations, they hang on stems or parts of the plants tightly and die in this position. Fungi grow and perform well in the hot & humid weather where grasshoppers’ infestations are more common. But sadly, it’s not available commercially yet.
Some working Entomologists may help you to hold a sample of the fungi to test in your environment.