What you Need to Know About Grasshoppers

  • Added:
    Jul 24, 2013
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Lady Herbert
Lady Herbert's Homes and Garden
Photo by HerryLawford

When you think about common household pests, often the first pests that come to mind are ants, roaches or termites. Additionally there are more such as bed bugs and mice that also come to mind. Grasshoppers might not make your top 5 pest list or even top 10, unless you have had the displeasure of a grasshopper problem in the past.

If you have experienced grasshopper infestation, they will certainly move into the top ranks of most annoying household pests. They are highly mobile and very hard to catch, smash, squish or otherwise kill. Their ability to leap helps them avoid many typical indoor and outdoor pest control products. They can be a persistent and problematic insect.

There are numerous species of grasshopper. They number in the hundreds. Some are rather innocuous, feeding largely on weed plants and not causing much damage. Other varieties can decimate back yard garden plots and even commercially planted crops with ease. They will migrate from one place to another, following food sources. They will travel large distances leaving a trail of damaged landscapes behind.

Grasshoppers feed on broad-leafed plants and grasses. They will also eat grains, fruits and vegetables. They aren’t very particular about their menu. For homeowners, this means your lawn, lettuces, beans, berries, roses and shrubs are all at equal risk for becoming a grasshopper’s dinner.

Most varieties of grasshopper overwinter in the ground as eggs. Once they hatch as nymphs, they will undergo several periods of molting before emerging as a fully adult, winged grasshopper. The adults will alternate periods of heavy feeding with cycles of egg laying.

One green pest control method for controlling grasshoppers is to till the soil in both the late autumn and the spring. This will bring the overwintering eggs to the surface where predators can take care of your grasshopper problem. As a bonus, spring tilling helps cut down on weed seedlings too!

You can also encourage other predators to take up residence and eat their fill. Birds like kestrels, larks and bluebirds relish a meal of grasshoppers. Put up a feeder to lure them to your yard and provide good nesting spots.

Your lawn care service or Brevard County pest control services company may also have some control measures for you. A spore called nosema locustae can be applied when grasshoppers are in the nymph stage (It is only effective at this life stage) which will infect the nymphs with a type of blood poisoning. Once dead, live grasshopper nymphs will feed on the carcasses and also become infected and die. This biological control method is fairly effective if applied properly.

The keyword in grasshopper pest management is “control”, not eradication. Even if you manage to get rid of every grasshopper in your yard, another group could migrate in the next day. On-going maintenance is the secret to keeping these bugs at bay.

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Article Source: Slug-A-Bug

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