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
- I have a large Pinion pine that we trimmed back the lower branches on last fall, The grass is not doing well there due to limited light, could I add a flower bed there instead, and if so what type of plants would do well in my VERY clay soil. Also isnt' there something about not planting flowers over/next to a tree trunk? thanks
- We have thousands of little green worms/caterpillars hanging from webs in our trees, eating the leaves til they are bare. What can we do to get rid of them?
- I have lived in a 50 year old home in Murray for 11 years. I have plants trees, bushes, perrenials, annuals, vegetables (nothing exotic). The trees seem to grow normal but a lot of the plants don't seem to grow much. They flower and look normal but not much growth. I have worked the ground a lot with mulch and commercial fertilizer but do not use manure or fish emulsion because my dog tries to eat it. What can I do to stimulate growth in my gardens?
- I sodded my back yard 3 years ago with RTF. It has not held up well, especially in the higher traffic areas where it is completely dead. Any suggestions?
- I purchased a white and pink dog wood from the nursery at Lowe's. We planted it according to directions about two weeks ago and I don't see any new growth on it at all yet. I broke off a few small twigs and it is still green. They are only about 4 feet high and were in pots when purchased. There were no leaves on them only bare branches. How long does it take to see if they are growing properly since they are guaranteed if they die. Thank you
- Do you have some pruning tips for ornamental and shade trees?
- What is killing the aspen trees in our forests?
- I want to make a portion of my yard a 0scape environment. How do I prepare the area so that the grass/weeds to not take over? What tools will I need to make the soil acceptable? What time of year is best to plant new plants for this area?