If you grew up in the 60’s and 70’s you know exactly who the young Grasshopper is! For those of you youngin’s, there was a show in the early 70’s named Kung Fu.
Man, that show was awesome! I’m not going to mention any names, but I do know someone that had a secret attraction to the young grasshopper! (Mom) 😂. I think you can still check out some of the episodes on YouTube.
Okay, I’m gonna bring it back. Grasshoppers. If you have ever been impacted by grasshoppers, you know that they are seriously destructive. The average grasshopper will consume 1/2 of their body weight of vegetation per day. A large outbreak of grasshoppers can easily destroy an entire crop.
There are over 11,000 known species of grasshoppers but only about 5 of these cause the most damage to gardens, tree’s and crops. Grasshoppers can range in color from brown, to a reddish color to green. Adult grasshoppers have wings and large hind legs. Nymphs or “immature stage” grasshoppers will look very similar but smaller with wing buds instead of wings.
Grasshoppers thrive in the hot, dry weather. So, if we have a warm, dry Fall you can expect to see an increase in the grasshopper population because they have been allowed more time to feed and lay eggs. The female grasshopper can lay an average of 200 – 400 eggs per season! The eggs begin to hatch late April or early May and can continue through to July. You will typically see the most damage mid-July.
How To Get Rid of Grasshoppers
Grasshoppers do have natural enemies, but unless you can release a flock of birds, or a gaggle of nematodes on your property you are probably looking for a better option. So, what can you do to get a leg up on the grasshoppers? Well, here is a small list:
- Eliminate sites where grasshoppers may lay eggs by tilling the land.
- Cut down tall grass and weeds, making the area less attractive to grasshoppers and easier for birds to feed on them.
- Apply pesticides to your lawn, trees and shrubs.
PRO TIP – If you had a problem with grasshoppers last year, you will have a problem this year. The will come back, so you will need to be proactive!