Grasshoppers are renowned to be one of the most difficult pest to control, mainly due to the vastness of their damage. These migratory pests are known to create damages in gardens and farms. One of the reasons why grasshoppers are hard to control is their mobility, as they can be really quick. They are also capable of creating damage right away, in almost any plant that they land on. Another challenge with grasshopper control is the fact that they can easily lay their eggs in the soil. This means that even if adult grasshoppers are not necessarily visible, the infestation may still persist once the eggs start to reach their final life stage. All these have made grasshoppers ones of the most loathed and dreaded pests, especially in the summer months, when an outbreak can prove to be a lot harder to handle.
More Things You Need to Know About Grasshoppers
Unlike other pests, grasshoppers’ presence in your yard or farm can actually be easily detected. They are most active during the summer months, and may continue to persist until the first few days of winter. There are almost a hundred species of this pest and each of them has a distinct eating habit, thus not all grasshoppers may be always harmful to plants. There are species who are even particularly attracted to weed species, as well. However, there are also those that thrive in vegetation, which makes it a huge problem for yard owners and gardeners. Some of the usual favorites of grasshoppers include onions, lettuce, beans, and tomato leaves. However, they may also damage plant barks, which often results to plants to bend or be completely dead. Grasshoppers are also able to adapt well to winter season, which makes them an even tougher opponent to beat.
Since there are hundreds of grasshopper species out there, let’s focus on the ones that are potentially damaging to your plants.
1) Migratory Grasshopper – this is one of the most commonly seen grasshopper species, given that they have long history of damaging crop plants. They have been a huge problem for farmers since decades ago, and has since created a huge demand for insecticide sprays.
2) Differential Grasshopper – if you have just built your dream house garden, then these species of grasshoppers are the ones to look out for. They are often the first ones to invade home gardens, causing significant damages to plant leaves and barks.
3) Redlegged Grasshopper – another type of grasshopper that has been a huge nuisance in gardens are the redlegged grasshoppers. They primarily thrive in damp areas of the garden, and are also able to reproduce rapidly.
4) Twostriped Grasshopper – considered to be one of the most damaging species to garden plants. The mobility of the twostriped grasshopper also allows them from one garden to another.
5) Clearwinged Grasshopper – if there is such thing as beneficial grasshoppers, then clearwinged would be one of the few. This specie is limited to feeding on grasses alone, thus no garden plants are necessarily at risk.
How to Get Rid of Grasshoppers?
Grasshopper control methods are currently limited to some classic approached including insecticides and baits. Depending on the size of your garden, the getting rid of grasshoppers may be laborious as it needs to be as thorough as possible in order to completely eliminate the infestation. A combination of insecticides and baits is often ideal during grasshopper outbreak in the summer. These grasshopper control products are known to kill the grasshoppers right away, but may have a short term effect on the pest. This means that a single application may not be enough to fully get rid of grasshoppers. When using grasshopper insecticides, it is also important to include the rest of the garden area, even if only a selected portion showed signs of the infestation. Unfortunately, consistent use of insecticides will also endanger other living organisms in the garden, thus compromising the plant’s nutrition.
If you are not particularly fond of chemical-based grasshopper control, you can also explore natural ways to get rid of these garden pests. One interesting method that have been recommended by seasoned gardeners is raising chicken to eat all the grasshoppers. Instead of fencing the entire vegetable garden, you can then consider building a shared fence for the chicken, where they can chase and eat grasshoppers. An easier approach is to also fill your garden with plants that are considered as grasshopper repellent. Clover, spices, dill , and sweet alice are just some of the plants that are known to repel grasshoppers rather than attracting them. With spices being one of the least favourite scent of grasshoppers, chili or garlic sprays have also been popularly used as grasshopper repellent. Some gardeners prefer this natural method due to its affordability and effectiveness, as it can be applied to the entire garden repeatedly both for control and prevention purposes.
The spring season is a good time to prepare for grasshopper outbreak. So, as early as now make sure to have all the necessary tools you need to prevent grasshopper infestation in your garden to prevent you from resorting to expensive insecticides.