Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
Do you have tips on managing grasshoppers in my yard?
Rate This FAQ
During the current drought cycle, grasshoppers have become a common occurrence in the home yard. There are hundreds of species of grasshoppers in North America, but only a few of them cause economic damage to plants. The short-horned or Acridid grasshoppers are the primary culprits. The slant-faced grasshoppers (angled faces, long, thin bodies) feed primarily on grasses; spur-throated grasshoppers (projection under their throat) feed primarily on herbaceous plants; and banded-winged grasshoppers (brightly colored hind wings that rattle when they fly) feed on both grasses and herbaceous plants.
Most problems occur in home yards when large populations of grasshoppers migrate from surrounding open fields, range and other less disturbed grasshopper egg-laying sites. Eggs are laid in undisturbed ground in the summer and fall, then over-winter. Eggs hatch the following spring, and emerging young (nymphs) feed on green vegetation. When field vegetation begins to dry, large flushes of grasshoppers migrate and overrun nearby succulent landscapes and gardens. The best way to combat grasshoppers in these circumstances is to work with neighbors to coordinate treatment. Consider these tips.
A number of insecticide choices are available to kill grasshoppers. They include acephate (Orthene), azadirachtin (Neem), bifenthrin (Talstar), carbaryl (Sevin), cyfluthrin (Tempo), diazinon, malathion, permethrin (Astro) and pyrethrin. Most of these are not labeled for food crops, so be sure to read and follow label directions carefully.
Two biological insecticides are effective on grasshoppers. Beauveria bassiana is an insect-attacking fungus. Nosema locustae is a protozoan that, upon ingestion and sporulation in the gut, infects fat tissues of the grasshopper. Nosema is slower acting than conventional insecticides and can take 4-6 weeks to kill grasshoppers.
Insecticide baits offer a longer-lasting option for grasshopper control. Baits formulated with grain to attract feeding grasshoppers include Nosema locustae (Nolo Bait, Semaspore) and carbaryl.
Grasshoppers are easier to kill in their early nymphal stages. Older nymphs and adults are the most voracious feeders and cause the main injury to plants. If grasshoppers move to your property from surrounding land, place a 6-8 foot band of bait around the property border and into the adjacent field. Do this in late spring to early summer when populations of small nymphs begin to increase. To maintain active insecticide, re-treat every two to three weeks while grasshopper populations are increasing (during egg hatch), and especially following heavy irrigation or rain.
Other management strategies include spot or target spraying nymphs when they are seen feeding in the yard, or treating adjacent vacant lots or fields that have nymph infestations.
Remember that not all grasshoppers will cause harm and low numbers can be tolerated. Most insecticides are not selective (Nosema locustae is an exception), and beneficial insects and spiders will be killed as well as pests. For effective grasshopper suppression, it is important to start early when grasshoppers are small and to maintain control until eggs have hatched and new waves of nymphs are no longer detected. Once flying adults are on the scene, it is too late for effective control that year.
For more information, visit http://extension.usu.edu/insect/fs/grassho3.htm to view “Grasshoppers in Utah: General Biology” by Edward W. Evans or visithttp://extension.usu.edu/insect/fs/grasshop.htm to see “Grasshoppers and their Control,” by Alan H. Roe.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- We planted a new yard with several pine trees this last Fall - including sub-alpine, a young cedar, douglas fir, and a couple of sequioa .... along with the traditional small conifer bushes. With the recent wind and the sensitivies of the sub-alpines and sequoia I wanted to be sure that I fertilized, etc., a needed (watered them a little today due to strong winds).
- Do you have tips for safely removing snow from sidewalks and driveways?
- I'd like to seed my yard with buffalo grass seed. The previous lawn was pulled out this past may, and I have since placed about 2 inches of compost over the area, and it is a full sun area. What are the best practices for seeding the yard and buffalograss establishment? Is this the right time? My soil is old alluvial soil...a fine loam I believe, very dark and rich in organics. ANYTHING you might know about this would be much appreciated.
- I have a lawn full of spiders. When I go to the flowers beds, probably a 100 spiders run out of the grass and bed. The spiders are about 3/8 of an inch long and dark brown. I would just like to get rid of them. What is the best approach?
- I have tall thin Junipers in my backyard. They resemble a Hollywood Juniper but I am not sure of their species. They are 25 years old and have begun to look like they are dying, the needles are turning brown and falling off. Is there anything I can do to save them?
- I live in South Jordan. 4 1/2 years ago I started watering my yard with gray water (irrigation) due to the cost of water. Since that time I have lost 6 red twig dogwoods, 7 blue arctic willows,3 spireas, a pine tree and a Japanese maple. Everything else does not look good (other trees, bushes and perennials). In the spring it all starts out green but by June everything has brown edges on yellowing leaves and the trees have several dead branches. Could the gray water be the culprit? Everything was at least 6 years old, lush, and healthy until I changed my water. I am afraid I will lose everything else this summer if I don't find a cure for this. I could you use some answers. Thank you.
- When should I be pruning my roses?
- I live in rose park and am selecting trees to add to my backyard. I have full sun and dark rich soil. I want a good shade tree but am not sure what would be best. I have been looking at different types of maple trees but am wary about their growth rates. Are there any trees that you could recommend?